Personnel: Don Murry (piano).
Audio Mixer: Euge Groove.
Recording information: 3 Pillars Studios, Woodland Hill, CA; Brownstone Recording, Brentwood, TN; Echo Bar Studios; The Diamond Mine, Camarillo, CA; The Groove House, Thousand Oaks, CA.
Photographer: Caesar Lima.
An industry veteran who first got his start as a session player for pop artists in the '80s, smooth jazz saxophonist Steve Grove (aka Euge Groove) marks his 16th year as a solo artist with his tenth studio album, 2016's Still Euge. This is Groove's fifth album for Shanachie, following 2014's Got 2 Be Groovin', and once again finds him handling the production duties. The result is a laid-back album with Groove's supple saxophone guiding the listener on a journey that never feels rushed. These are lush, if economic arrangements, built around light percussion rhythms, sinewy basslines, and a liberal mix of piano and keyboard. Cuts like the lead-off "Twelfth Night" and the finger-snapping "Let's Chill" are classic instrumental Euge numbers, while the sensual Groove-penned ballad "Love, Passion and Joy," sounds pleasingly like a relaxed smooth jazz take on Lenny Kravitz's "It Ain't Over 'til it's Over." Elsewhere, Groove showcases the talents of several guest artists, bringing guitarist Chuck Loeb on board for the bluesy title track and letting guitarist Peter White add his sparkling color to the sultry slow jam "Another Perfect Moment." Also welcome is singer Rahsaan Patterson, who lends his urbane vocal talents to the '90s-style R&B of "Much Love." Similarly, vocalist Oleta Adams adds some weighty resonance to the latter half of the album with her languid turn on the romantic "Flower." A warmly produced album that touches upon all of Groove's trademark sounds from soulful balladry to instrumental R&B jams, Still Euge is a more than apt title. ~ Matt Collar