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Karl Denson to tour with The Rolling Stones
Posted by: nonfilter ()
Date: October 14, 2014 05:58

Karl Denson to tour with Rolling Stones

Veteran San Diego saxophonist signs on for 9 concerts this month and next in Australia & New Zealand with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and company.

By George Varga (/staff/george-varga/)3:37 p.m.Oct. 13, 2014
Karl Denson

















Karl Denson (http://karldenson.us/home/) has a very sound reason for abruptly canceling the six shows he was scheduled to perform between Friday and October 25 with his funk-jazz band Tiny Universe, including an Oct. 24 date at the North Park Theatre.

The veteran San Diego saxophonist has just been selected to tour with the biggest band in the universe, the Rolling Stones, who have hired Denson to perform nine concerts in Australia and New Zealand. (http://www.rollingstones.com/tickets/) He flies out Friday to begin rehearsing down under with the Stones. His first date with the band will be Oct. 25 stadium date in Adelaide, Australia.

Denson is no stranger to big-name gigs. He embarks on annual amphitheater tours as a member of San Diego jam band Slightly Stoopid and has also worked with Lenny Kravitz, the Allman Brothers Band, Steve Winwood and such jazz greats as guitarist John Scofield, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette.

But doing a Rolling Stones' stadium tour with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ron Wood and the band's elite touring lineup will take him into a rarefied performing world that few musicians get to experience. He'll be joining a sax section that includes longtime band collaborator Bobby Keys and Tim Ries, who has been on board for tours by the Stones since the 1990s.

"This is way beyond my wildest dreams, for sure!" Denson, 57, said Monday, speaking from his Scripps Ranch home. "I wouldn’t have even put it on my bucket list, because I would have considered it ludicrous (to contemplate)."

Denson is the co-founder of the San Diego band Greyboy Allstars. His upcoming tour with the Stones is the result of a recommendation from Lenny Kravtiz, with whom he toured and recorded in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and again in 2008.

Kravitz phoned Denson several times on Oct. 2, while the saxophonist was rehearsing at home with fellow Slightly Stoopid saxophonist DeLa. Since Kravitz was calling from a blocked number, Denson didn't know who the missed calls were from, let alone why Kravitz was contacting him.

"When he called a fourth time, I answered," Denson said. "Lenny told me he had received a call, and that: 'Somebody needs a sax player to go on road.' My initial response was: 'I don't think I'm the right guy. I just finished my summer tour (With Slightly Stoopid) and I'm doing weekend warrior stuff for the rest of the year, so I can be home with my family.'

"Then, Lenny said: 'I think you'll want to take this,' and that it was the Stones and he'd recommended me.

After that, I sent out some of my music to them. They got it, liked it took it committee (for a band vote). A week later, I was on a Skype conference with Mick. That was this past Thursday; it all transpired pretty quickly."

Asked what it was like talking music and business with Jagger, Denson replied: "You know, it was pretty mellow. He'd already decided to hire me and asked me about what I'd been doing. He said: 'You were with Lenny from this time to that time?' I said: 'Yeah. I left to do my own thing.' Then he said: 'Have you been doing your own stuff since then?' I said: 'Yes.'

"He explained to me about the nine shows we'd be doing and the logistics of getting together with the other sax player and sussing out the material. It was, like, a 10-minute Skype call."

By coincidence, Denson did a North American concert tour in 2012 billed as "Karl Denson's Tiny Universe presents the Rolling Stones' album, 'Sticky Fingers,' in its entirety." He threw in a recording from that tour, including his version of the Stones' sax-happy "Can't You Hear Me Knocking," with the samples of his music that he sent to the legendary band before they hired him.

"Mick mentioned that when we spoke," Denson said. I asked him if he wanted me to play Bobby Keys' (original) sax solo, verbatim. He said I'd get some chances to play alongside Bobby on other stuff, where I could quote or not quote (the original recordings).

"I told Mick that when I was in college when I was 18, and had just started playing nightclub gigs, it was a regular occurrence where these random, drunken guys would stumble up to me, and go: 'Hey, man, can you play some Bobby Keys?' I didn’t really know who Keys was at time. After the third third or fourth inebriated patron hit me up to 'Play some Keys,' I figured out who he was. 'Oh, he's the guy with the Stones.' So I've been familiar with him for a long time."

Since none of the Stones' touring band members use sheet music, Denson will need to memorize all his sax parts. Before he flies to Australia for rehearsals, he has been glued to YouTube, watching as many recent concerts by the band as he can find.

"I've been listening to their concerts in their entirety to get the vibe," said Denson, who slyly added: "since I couldn't afford to go to any of their (2013 U.S.) shows (http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/may/04/rolling-stones-open-tour/)!"

Did the saxophonist share that tidbit about high ticket prices with Jagger?

Denson roared with laughter.

"No!" he replied, before assuming a more serious tone.

At 57, Denson is too old to be a fan boy, even when dealing with the world's most famous rock band. But he does have a topic he hopes to discuss, should the opportunity arise.

"I know what my first question for Mick and Keith and the guys will be," he said . It's: 'What was it like as a kid to hear (blues pioneer) Howlin' Wolf for the first time?'

"Because I remember what it was like when I first heard certain music when I was young. I know, for myself, that when I discovered Howlin' Wolf 10 years ago, it was the most mind-blowing thing, ever. And I want to pick the brains of the guys in the Stones about that. Because it must have been insane for a little English kid to hear Howlin' Wolf!"


[www.non-filters.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2014-10-14 22:56 by bv.

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Date: October 14, 2014 06:33

Does this signify the end of the Kent Smith era ??????

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Posted by: Glam Descendant ()
Date: October 14, 2014 06:48

Quote
Winning Ugly VXII
Does this signify the end of the Kent Smith era ??????


Kent Smith is a trumpet player.

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Posted by: hockenheim95 ()
Date: October 14, 2014 06:50

so we have 3 sax players now and no trumpet and no trombone

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Posted by: CaptainCorella ()
Date: October 14, 2014 06:52

Quote
Glam Descendant
Quote
Winning Ugly VXII
Does this signify the end of the Kent Smith era ??????


Kent Smith is a trumpet player.

... and Bobby Keyes is a saxophonist...

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Posted by: Long John Stoner ()
Date: October 14, 2014 07:01

Wow, I know all these guys. From the writer of the article, George Vargas, to Karl Denson, who has banged around San Diego for a long time now. Back in the late 80's and early 90's I lived in the San Diego area and got to know a group called the Beat Farmers really well. The BFers were the big band in S.D. at the time, led by Country Dick Montana (real name Dan McLain). It's been a number of years now for any of it, as Country Dick unfortunately died onstage of a heart attack in 1995, but there was a time we all hung out together at various venues.

Denson is a really great guy. He should do well.

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Posted by: buffalo7478 ()
Date: October 14, 2014 07:09

I wonder if he and Mick discussed what he would be paid?

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Posted by: Sam4741 ()
Date: October 14, 2014 08:15

I wonder what this means, if anything. Will we see a more upfront sax section a la the 81/82 tour? Or will we literally just see Karl Denson, Bobby and Tim Ries together on, at most, a few songs a night?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2014-10-14 08:43 by Sam4741.

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Date: October 14, 2014 08:54

Is Tim out, or will he be focusing on other instruments?

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Posted by: bitusa2012 ()
Date: October 14, 2014 09:04

We sure he hasn't REPLACED Bobby???

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Posted by: jammingedward ()
Date: October 14, 2014 09:45

I think he's there to 'support' Bobby by the sounds of that article. At his Melbourne show earlier this year Bobby certainly looked old and needed frequent breaks. But was still bloody awesome when he was playing!

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Posted by: crawdaddy ()
Date: October 14, 2014 10:19

Bobby certainly did look old in the close up shots on stage.

Age catches up on all of us.

I do hope the new guy is an additional musician in the horns section.

Would miss Bobby and his great sax playing.

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Posted by: Rolling Hansie ()
Date: October 14, 2014 11:32

Quote
bitusa2012
We sure he hasn't REPLACED Bobby???

From the article: "I asked him if he wanted me to play Bobby Keys' (original) sax solo, verbatim. He said I'd get some chances to play alongside Bobby"

-------------------
Keep On Rolling smoking smiley

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Date: October 14, 2014 11:36

Quote
Rolling Hansie
Quote
bitusa2012
We sure he hasn't REPLACED Bobby???

From the article: "I asked him if he wanted me to play Bobby Keys' (original) sax solo, verbatim. He said I'd get some chances to play alongside Bobby"

But why "some chances"? Wouldn't he be playing alongside Bobby every night? confused smiley

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Posted by: deeppurple ()
Date: October 14, 2014 14:40

I cannot help but think they are concerned about Bobby Keyes health. Does he have the stamina for the shows? None of us are getting any younger. Of course, Bobby has to pass a Medical examination to make the tour. Still, it does make one pause and think of how fragile he has looked. Hope I am wrong.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2014-10-14 18:17 by deeppurple.

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Posted by: DECCA61 ()
Date: October 14, 2014 14:47

a different point of view .... maybe there will be a change in the setlist ..

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Date: October 14, 2014 14:59

Sax, drugs & rock'n'roll

MICHAEL DWYER The West Australian
October 14, 2014, 7:59 am

When it comes to rock'n'roll decadence, it's hard to decide which image of Bobby Keys is most definitive. One legendary bathtub of Dom Perignon so incensed Mick Jagger, the story goes, that Keys was suspended from the Rolling Stones for 10 years.

Then there was the time he and Keith Richards were threatened with arrest at Perth airport in 1973. According to Richards' book, Life, a couple of "outrageous Aussie Sheilas" they'd picked up in Adelaide had made quite a sensation emerging from the toilets topless during the flight.

When all the war stories are pulp and hearsay, however, on any day the sound of the big Texan's horn will still be blasting from some car radio speaker more times than Keef lights a fag.

"It doesn't matter how many times I've played Brown Sugar, I never get tired of playing it," says the de facto Stone of the past 45 years, before the band rolls into Australia later this month on their rescheduled 14 on Fire tour.

"Whenever I'm doing a concert with those cats, it's not like I'm going through the motions. They are about going out there and delivering on every song. You better damn well commit to doing it good or you won't be doing it again."

Keys' signature sax riffs began to embellish the Stones' recordings during their peerless Exile to Sticky Fingers era but he sealed his fate as a rock'n'roller 15 years earlier when he stumbled into Buddy Holly's parents' garage as a young kid in Lubbock, Texas.

Before he was old enough to drink, Keys had played the immortal riffs on Dion's The Wanderer and Elvis' Return to Sender. His resume is vast but, since hooking up with Richards for TV-tossing and other recreational activities, sometimes blurry.

He fondly recalls turning up at the Record Plant in New York one night to blow the scene-stealing solo on John Lennon's Whatever Gets You Thru the Night. Sessions with George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton and plenty more followed.

But he's damned if he can remember Paul McCartney being present at that impromptu Lennon and Stevie Wonder jam in LA in 1974. It would go down in bootleg history as the last time the former Beatles played together on tape. But history, for some, is long.

"When I talk about rock'n'roll, to me, that goes back to the beginning of the 1950s," Keys explains. "Blue suede shoes and sideburns, man. Pink and black coloured clothes. Turn your collar up, comb your hair in ducktails. And the music was cool. It was a whole culture then, a different world."

He's literally watched that world change from over Jagger's shoulder, from the marginal subculture of 50s and 60s teenagers to the mainstream juggernaut the Stones pioneered with the stadium rush of the 70s and beyond.

"Stadiums are necessary for a band like the Stones to be able to go there in the first place. That's just testimony to their popularity," Keys says. Even if his liver was still up to it, he adds, the sheer dimension of the operation would leave no room for the Dom Perignon craziness of the 70s.

"The most trouble I get into these days is crossing the road in front of the hotel," he says.

"It's pretty scripted on the road; very organised and compartmentalised and that's the way it has to be with so many people involved in a Stones tour. It's quite a bit different to when I first joined the band and there were only two security guys.

"But I'm not complaining. The music is still good, the cheques still cash and I still enjoy playing."

[au.news.yahoo.com]

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Posted by: BluzDude ()
Date: October 14, 2014 18:24

Quote
buffalo7478
I wonder if he and Mick discussed what he would be paid?

scaledrinking smiley

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Posted by: swiss ()
Date: October 14, 2014 19:51

Quote
DandelionPowderman
Quote
Rolling Hansie
Quote
bitusa2012
We sure he hasn't REPLACED Bobby???

From the article: "I asked him if he wanted me to play Bobby Keys' (original) sax solo, verbatim. He said I'd get some chances to play alongside Bobby"

But why "some chances"? Wouldn't he be playing alongside Bobby every night? confused smiley

I'm unclear on this too...

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Posted by: ryanpow ()
Date: October 14, 2014 20:33

I think he'd be playing every night and "some chances" refers to some songs each night.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2014-10-14 20:37 by ryanpow.

Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Posted by: Come On ()
Date: October 14, 2014 21:59

Cool guy..


Re: New Saxophonist for Austrailia
Posted by: fela ()
Date: October 14, 2014 22:48

cool! its good for the Roll to have black musicians in the band

Second Sax (what is this about?)
Posted by: Bob C. ()
Date: October 14, 2014 20:33


Re: Second Sax (what is this about?)
Posted by: Raymond82 ()
Date: October 14, 2014 20:35

Puzzled by this too.... Anybody got any info? Hope Bobby is ok!

Re: Second Sax (what is this about?)
Posted by: DoomandGloom ()
Date: October 14, 2014 20:50

I guess someone will have to leave the tour soon and they're breaking a new person in. A tour without Bobby would be hollow for me, of course I wish him the best as we all do here at IORR.

Re: Second Sax (what is this about?)
Posted by: Naturalust ()
Date: October 14, 2014 20:52

Bobby is probably prevented from entering OZ and NZ due to drugs convictions......just a guess, he's definately not in the best of health but I hope he is OK too. peace

Re: Second Sax (what is this about?)
Posted by: Raymond82 ()
Date: October 14, 2014 20:55

He's definitely allowed into Australia. He toured there earlier this year with his solo outfit the Sufferin Bastards...

Confused. Hopefully someone can shed some light.

Re: Second Sax (what is this about?)
Posted by: franzk ()
Date: October 14, 2014 21:49

Second sex is sometimes better than the first >grinning smiley<

Oh, sorry, it's sax...

Re: Second Sax (what is this about?)
Posted by: mr_dja ()
Date: October 14, 2014 21:58

It's the short notice that makes me wonder what is up. All of the articles seem to say that Karl Denson didn't even get called by Lenny Kravitz until October 2nd. The skype call with Mick was "a week later" or "last Thursday". That would have had to be October 9th. Although it's not absolutely "last minute", this decision was obviously made very quickly which would imply that it wasn't planned in advance. Here's hoping that everyone is all right.

Peace,
Mr DJA

Re: Second Sax (what is this about?)
Posted by: ryanpow ()
Date: October 14, 2014 22:08

The article says he'll be playing along side Bobby. Lets not turn this into a jump to conclusions mat.

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