Euge Groove: Livin’ Large

Three albums featured in this month’s column include covers of James Taylor’s “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight.” One interpretation that is actually successful is saxophonist Euge Groove’s rendition, which opens his third album, Livin’ Large (Narada). It’s a pretty, grooving version featuring multitracked harmonizing saxes. On the title track, “XXL” and “Silhouette,” Groove turns in muscular, catchy performances, while on “Take You Higher” his delivery is intimate, as his low-pitched saxophone almost whispers the melody.

Groove slows down the famous funk rhythm on Sly Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin),” which is done in two versions. One features a rap, which isn’t a bad idea, but the lyrics are weak (“He’s nice on the sax / I’m nice on the rhyme”). The album closes with the second version, which eliminates the rap and focuses the spotlight clearly on Groove’s sax.