First LIsten: The Italian Groove Collective brings the goods on smooth, soulful track


(December 26, 2022) Italian is one of the Romance Languages, which has nothing to do with whispering “sei bello” into your bae’s ear. Still, I don’t think most Italians (or French, Portuguese, Romanians, or Spaniards) have a problem with the world thinking that saying you’re beautiful in their native tongue means a little more than uttering those words in English. The Italian Groove Collective endows the ballad “You’re My Everything” with a little something that leaves listeners thinking that maybe folks in Rome have a deeper insight into matters of the heart.

“You’re My Everything” is a cover of the Santa Esmeralda tune that featured vocalist Leroy Gomez as lead. Gomez returns to front this lush, brassy, and brash reimagination of the intimate Spanish guitar and piano driven original.

Gomez knows a thing or two about adding a nice amount of passion to anything he sings. He was born in Wareham, Massachusetts and became a saxophonist who joined the group Tavares, who – like Gomez – grew up in New England and were of Cape Verdean descent.

So, when it comes to adding elements of smoothness and passion to his vocal delivery, Gomez spent time around one of the best to do it in Chubby Tavares. Gomez went on to play saxophone with Elton John before joining Santa Esmeralda. The Italian Groove Collective is a group of 55 musicians who made their reputations as solo artists and first call session musicians. The band came together during the lockdown to create, and the fruit of their efforts is their self-titled album. Check out “You’re My Everything” here.

By Howard Dukes

Italian Groove Collective
“You’re My Everything”


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