The widely anticipated eighth album from the ever popular sax man finds him in his “happy place” which is the home he inhabits in southern California where he lives and records. “It was a friend that pointed out that he thought the album was recorded in my happy place. I am very happy right now. I really feel the songs on this album capture the spirit and energy that friends and family bring to the Groove House.” says Euge. He programs all the tracks here and is featured on both tenor and soprano sax, along with flute and the Hammond B3. The final result of this eight month project will keep his large fan base happy for a long time.
Each song is listed by “room numbers” and in room one we have the opener entitled “Knock! Knock! Who’s There?” It is the first single and pays homage to his home base that drives his creative energy. Written while he was in Italy a few years ago, the name is derived from ‘McBeth’ and features Groove on soprano. The opening volleys up and down the scales lead into some really nice sax work and a fun melody that you’ll be hearing on the radio this fall. You’ll recognize who this is right away. The title track is pure Euge as he sets this one up at the beginning playing off himself before launching into some really interesting tenor work. I could have used one of his patented “growls” here, but I really like what I hear. You can tell that his “house” is in order, and is a good place to be. He brings out his soprano once again for “Fellowship Hall” where he moves along at a nice pace and allows his horn to shine throughout. I like the way this one is written with both a great melody and chorus. The finger snaps only add to the mix, and keeps it lively. Tracy Carter is on board for some really clean acoustic piano as well. “God Bless You” is a favorite right from the start. The tenor just talks to you right away. Although the approach is somewhat laid back, the sound is clean and pure. It is songs like this that have won over so many fans for years. It gains a real emotional edge as the vocals of Kate Miner Moebel are added. The same flavor spills over to “Lampin It” as Euge continues on the tenor.
He picks up the pace a little, and continues on the tenor with “Old Edu (Old School). It has become another favorite. Like several of the ones before, this one stays clean and really shows Grooves ability on sax. My absolute favorite has to be in Room Eight called “Never Met a Woman.” He joins forces with R&B crooner Jeffery Osborne for an infectious duet that will have you hitting the repeat button several times! “I wanted to give Jeffery a track reminiscent of his LTD days. He just nails the vibe on this one. It’s a fun song.” The two of them play this one off of each other really well, and Osborne’s vocals have never sounded better. It leads into a little gospel number called “Faithful Central.” The song is really positive and you can tell where the inspiration comes from. “Faithful is a big church out here where pianist Tracy Carter is one of the music directors. He just puts his church vibe into the song, and I had to honor where it came from. It just feels very honest.” Paul Brown adds some uplifting guitar work here as well. The last room closes out the house with the ballad “It’s Only Rain” featuring the vocals of the young singer/songwriter Chioma. They carry out to the end with much emotion as Euge plays some of his best sax on the album.
Once again this ever popular saxophonist brings ten new cuts that are guaranteed to take us to a better place. “In all that is going on in everyone’s lives, my own included, I hope that the music’s positive vibe reaches people” says Groove. I really believe he has achieved that here and you are really going to be in for something good. Be sure to check into this “house” real soon and see what I mean.