If there’s one thing you could count on from the Godfather of Soul, is that whatever he played, it’s got to be funky. All the same, whatever Euge Groove plays has gotta groove (his name practically demands this).
On the cusp of releasing his latest CD Got 2 Be Groovin’ (August 19, 2014 via Shanachie Entertainment), premier smooth jazz saxman Groove crafted the title tune inspired by the Godfather of Soul. “This song came out one morning after I had gone to bed diggin’ on James Brown,” he confesses. “He always had groove that turned the snare beat around and I wanted to capture that but in a modern studio kind of way.”
A turned around snare beat from drummer Dan Needham is the first thing you’ll notice about “Got 2 Be Groovin’,” reinforced by studio vet Cornelius Mims’ supple bass line. Groove’s tenor saxophone soon comes in dripping with soul and closely aligned to the rhythm. At the same time, the melody he spins on his sax engages and backed by a real band; the mastermind behind thirteen #1 hits could very well be on his way to #14. On the fadeout, Groove can be heard quoting J.B., specifically, the little sax part that connects the chorus to the bridge on “I Got You (I Feel Good).”
By reshaping an old influence into a new, contemporary style, a line is drawn from the old school funk of James Brown to the present day soul-jazz of one of its most popular practitioners. “Got 2 Be Groovin'” is another calling card tune from Euge Groove destined to delight his fans.