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In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: 1963luca0 ()
Date: September 24, 2017 21:17

Back from Zurich and Lucca, I like to start this thread on Carl Denson.
Don't get me wrong, but I dare to say he's our new Mick Taylor. He's very gifted and has proven to be able to elevate the musica of the Rolling Stones to a higher ground, like Ernie Watts did, a very long time ago. After no less then eighty concerts of Rolling Stones attended,'Brown Sugar' gives me thrills again!
His sax is something like a third guitar that goes straight to the end of the song, but could go on rocking and swinging.
'Mise You'? It sounds very well now that Watts, Denson and Jones trio has given the song a totally new life.
I wish the Rolling Stones will given Denson many more chances, in very near future... 'Waiting On A Friend', 'Imagination' come easy, but I also hore the Glimmer Twins will consider to arrange some other songs to let Denson support Mick Jagger and abandone two backsingers that have become quite boring and use less. Welcome back Keith on backvocals: he's much more moving than anybody else, in my opinion.
No need to say that this point of view of mine will bashed, but I can't see why the Rolling Stones should not remember that have conquered the World being proud to be different, innovative and gifted musicians.
Am I the only one here hoping for new jam sessions on stage?
Thanks for reading,

Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: hopkins ()
Date: September 25, 2017 01:11

I think Karl's really talented.I've heard him blow some amazing solos. I'm interested in learning more about him. Where'd he come from? What was he doing before this gig? I think he has a lot of soul and they're lucky to have him. He doesn't sound like one of those generic cocktail guys to me. And I really think they have one or two of that sort of section cat.


"...I'm a monkey! I'm a monkey!
Monkey! monkey! monkey!"
M. Jagger & K. Richards

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-09-25 03:29 by hopkins.

Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: hopkins ()
Date: September 25, 2017 01:19

for me personally, if Tim, Bernard and Chuck found other opportunities, I I don't that could hurt personally. But in my opinion losing Karl would take some rooted soul and pump, played with finesse, (but still powerfully raw emotionally imo).
Feel the same way about Sara.
Just now really gauging her depth.
She bring the huge crowd UP on Shelter, really has soul power. I heard her going down into that lower register and was duly surprised at how down home old soul she sounded; I think she could be real dynamite; they should encourage her to explode; I love Lisa and think fans should go out of their way to love her up, so this isn't a comment on her at all; just sayinhg I'm a bigger Sara fan every time out; she adds a lot imo.
Giving her a lead vocal on a verse; or extending a bridge or something for her could be a cool arrangment; totally not distracting from the Stones but adding to the dynamic in a refreshimng way; I think they did that succccessfully with Shelter but honestly think (almost) except for the zing and lift Sara brought to it; well, the audience just really warmed up when she was doing her thing, let's say that....

and as for the boys, imo it would show assured confidence and great showmanship.
The audience would adore another arrangement that could feature her a little I think. Haven't heard tonights show yet.


"...I'm a monkey! I'm a monkey!
Monkey! monkey! monkey!"
M. Jagger & K. Richards

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 2017-09-25 03:44 by hopkins.

Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: doitywoik ()
Date: September 25, 2017 01:57

The previous Denson thread got a twin? winking smiley

Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: Woz ()
Date: September 25, 2017 02:01

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, check them out.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-09-25 02:35 by Woz.

Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: Rockman ()
Date: September 25, 2017 02:08

Karl can blow some cool noise .... Stones are lucky ta find him ..
Have spoken with him a couple of times ... he looks so healthy ...heck I'd hate have ta arm-wrestle him ...


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-09-25 03:01 by Rockman.

Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: TheBlockbuster ()
Date: September 25, 2017 02:59

KARL Denson for Christ's sake!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-09-25 03:00 by TheBlockbuster.

Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: Rockman ()
Date: September 25, 2017 03:02



Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: More Hot Rocks ()
Date: September 25, 2017 04:31

KARL Denson for Christ's sake!

LOL Drives me nuts too! I still waiting for people to spell Darryl the right way.

Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: Aquamarine ()
Date: September 25, 2017 09:02

I wouldn't mind Karl as a prize. winking smiley Perhaps in my Lucky Dip.

Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Date: September 25, 2017 10:34

Karl is prizeless. I praise that smileys with beer

Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: RoughJusticeOnYa ()
Date: September 25, 2017 13:37

I'd prise to hear Karl play his sax every day;
but I settle for just any time I can hear him play as some sort of consolation prize...
He is priceless, that's for sure;
and therefore he gets my praise.

All together now: ...

Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: RoughJusticeOnYa ()
Date: September 25, 2017 13:49

...P.S.: wondering why Karl only gets the spotlight on Brown Sugar, though.
I'd love to hear his take on the Miss You sax solo!
But maybe they keep that one for Tim, as some sort of credit for that man's long-time participation?
He does an OK job on it - nothing more, imo.

Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: hopkins ()
Date: September 25, 2017 15:45

prize the lord and pass the rumination


"...I'm a monkey! I'm a monkey!
Monkey! monkey! monkey!"
M. Jagger & K. Richards

Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: duke richardson ()
Date: September 25, 2017 16:45

Karl Denson studied Bobby's playing. Not prior to getting the gig with the Stones

but because he's always loved Bobby's playing.


Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: erikjjf ()
Date: September 25, 2017 17:09

wondering why Karl only gets the spotlight on Brown Sugar, though.

He had a center-stage spotlight moment with Can't Your Hear Me Knocking in 2015.
Not at every show, unfortunately.

Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: November 14, 2017 15:23

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe Detail 2018 Winter Tour

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe will hit the road for a winter tour that’ll kick off January 12 in San Diego and extend into February as the group begins to roll out its new touring plans.
The newly announced dates will keep the band primarily in the Western United States but they will make exceptions for a pair of Florida excursions as the band returns aboard Jam Cruise as well as Wanee in April.
Consult the full schedule below.

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe Tour Dates:

November 17 Chicago, IL—Park West
November 18 Punta Gorda, FL—Big Orange Music Festival
November 24 San Jose, CA—The Ritz
November 25 San Francisco, CA—The Fillmore
December 2 Park City, UT—Park City Mountain Resort
December 28 Crested Butte, CO—Public House
December 29 Crested Butte, CO—Public House
December 31 Denver, CO—1st Bank Center
January 12 San Diego, CA—Belly Up
January 13 Santa Barbara, CA—SoHo
January 17 Ft. Lauderdale, FL—Jam Cruise 16
January 24 Eugene, OR—HiFi Music Hall
January 25 Seattle, WA—Nectar’s
January 26 Seattle, WA—Nectar’s
January 27 Portland, OR—Revolution Hall
January 28 Bend, OR—Volcanic Theatre Pub
February 3 Crystal Bay, NV—Crystal Bay Crown Room
April 19-21 Live Oak, FL—Wanee


Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: duke richardson ()
Date: November 14, 2017 16:13


he'll be warmed up for the UK Tour smiling smiley

Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: 2120Joe ()
Date: November 14, 2017 22:24

Thanks for posting the schedule Cristiano R! He just happens to be in my town this week. Now I have something to see.

Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: 2120Joe ()
Date: November 27, 2017 16:42

If Karl is in your town, I highly recommend this show. He is a great musician-vocalist/frontman and horn player. I didn’t know he could do everything, and so well, as I only know him as Bobby Keys replacement. They are playing an Allman Bros tribute setlist. Interesting band set up in that there are two of everything on stage-drums, keyboards, guitars etc. A big band. Although he does not flail about like another frontman, he dances, moves and brings the music to life. A great time was had by the crowd who were all brought to their feet and dance floor for its entirety.

The show was advertised as doors opening at 7pm and show start at 8pm. Well at 8 the place was half empty. The place filled in and Karl didn’t start until after 9pm. He played until 11:30 and then came back on a little after midnight and played again until 1:30am. Great long sets but we didn’t know and my wife had to leave before the 2nd set for kids and babysitter.

Re: In praise of Mr. Denson
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: February 16, 2018 17:02

Karl Denson: From ‘Soul Train’ to the Rolling Stones
Sax player will take Club Red stage this weekend

By Geoff Hanson, One Step Ahead of the Blues

Saxophonist Karl Denson will play Club Red on Saturday and Sunday with his band Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. (Courtesy photo)

Tiny universe? Hardly.

Karl Denson traverses sonic landscapes that span musical galaxies. His notes ping through spiral nebulas and barrel on out into the cosmic heartland, finding funk in black holes, jazz in globular clusters, rock ’n’ roll in cosmic dust and intergalactic grooves in earthly dance halls.

Telluride will be the center of Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (KDTU) this weekend as KDTU takes the stage at Club Red for two shows on Saturday and Sunday.

Denson is joined in the Tiny Universe by guitarist DJ Williams; former Greyboy Allstars drummer, Zak Najor; bassist Chris Stillwell, also of The Greyboy Allstars; Crush Effects’ keyboardist David Veith; trumpeter Chris Littlefield; and slide and lap steel guitarist Seth Freeman.

I had the pleasure of working with Karl Denson when he made a guest appearance on a 2004 DVD I produced and directed called “Earth vs. The Radiators: The First 25.” I checked in with Karl this week during a phone interview, in which we spoke about Mexican weddings, Yusef Lateef and “Casino Boogie.”

Geoff Hanson: Your career took off when you linked up with Lenny Kravitz in 1987. How did that happen?

Karl Denson: A good friend of mine, a trumpet player named Michael Hunter, was friends with Lenny for a long time before I met him. Michael recommended me for a session with Lenny. He was playing bass and producing a record for a guy named Tony LeMans. That was kind of the beginning of that sound; the back to live soul.

GH: Explain that “back to live soul” sound. Lenny was using vintage instruments and you were recording to tape. Was that not happening back in 1988?

KD: We were in the 1980s, which was really about computers, about programming. R&B had been reduced to drum machines and sequencers at that time. I lived through the ’80s when the horn section died and people started using synth horns. We were bringing real instruments back.

GH: Let’s back up a second, how did you get to the point where you were accomplished enough as a player to get that call to go play with Lenny Kravitz?

KD: My first professional gig was with an artist named O’Bryan in the early ’80s. He was produced and managed by Don Cornelius from “Soul Train,” so I used to do “Soul Train” and sessions with them and played on different records. That’s how I got my bearings.

GH: Even before that, were you playing in the marching band in junior high, flute in music class, how did you get your start playing music and develop your chops?

KD: I started in junior high, I didn’t do marching band, but I always played in bands. I had a band that my comrades and I put together called Just Funk and we played from middle of eighth grade through 10th grade, and then I played in a bunch of Mexican wedding bands. I grew up in Santa Ana, California, which is very Latino. That was a lot of fun.

GH: When you started Just Funk in eighth grade in the early 1970s, what were some of the bands that you were trying to emulate?

KD: We were kind of a Sly Stone-meets-Jimi Hendrix band. That’s what we were listening to at the time. We were rock ’n’ rollers, it was a rock ’n’ roll thing. We stayed on that track — Sly, Buddy Miles, Santana, bands like that.

GH: Let’s jump forward to the point where you finished your five-year stint playing with Lenny Kravitz in the early ’90s and started your solo career. You recorded your first album “Blackened Red Snapper” (1992) around the same time as you recorded your first record with Greyboy. Tell me about that time.

KD: It all kind of converged really fast. In 1992, I was still playing with Lenny Kravitz. I met Greyboy when I was doing a cover band gig with my friends from my eighth grade band, Just Funk. We were doing a show in Laguna Beach in 1992 and Greyboy came down and he had heard about me and he introduced himself and we hit it off and I went to San Diego and recorded some tracks with him. That was the beginning of the whole acid jazz thing, which was basically DJs working with live musicians.

And at the same time, I got my own record deal and “Blackened Red Snapper” came out. So I was working with Lenny, my own album came out, the Greyboy thing was happening and I met Fred Wesley that year, too.

GH: That sounds like the point at which you went out into the universe.

KD: (laughs) Maybe.

GH: Where were you recording your own records in those days?

KD: I made my first record in Malibu. It was done directly to (analog) tape.

GH: Do you still record to tape?

KD: Yes. Always. My latest record we recorded on tape and then digitized, so we could work with it in Pro Tools.

GH: This is kind of obvious, but I’d like to hear it in your words, why tape?

KD: Because it sounds better. There’s a natural compression there that you don’t get from digital. It sounds big. It’s more real when you get down to it. In digital, it’s like everything’s being changed into something else and then changed back, and tape is a real signal hitting a tape and the analog thing is larger, more complete.

GH: The name “Tiny Universe” is pretty ironic. There’s nothing tiny about the band’s sound. How did you arrive at the name?

KD: It has to do with the large number of influences we have, so it’s the micro-macro. We definitely come from a lot of different places, and we free associate those influences. My foundation is jazz, then there’s the funk thing, the rock thing, country from time to time. We touch on everything and try to draw out the best elements from each one.

GH: Can you put some names on those different influences?

KD: The James Brown influence is always there, Sly and the Family Stone, John Coltrane, Yusef Lateef, Eddie Harris, The Rolling Stones, Patty Griffin.

GH: Yusef Lateef? That’s a name I’m not familiar with. Tell me about him.

KD: Yusef Lateef was one of my main saxophone-flute guys growing up. There was Eddie Harris, David “Fathead” Newman from Ray Charles’ band. Those guys all played sax and flute and those guys were my inspiration. In the beginning it was just about playing jazz.

GH: You mentioned the Stones in there. (Longtime Rolling Stones saxophonist) Bobby Keys was a big influence on you wasn’t he?

KD: One of the reasons that joining the Stones seemed like a good fit is that I am a huge Bobby Keys fan. I was in my early 20s and people kept asking me to play some Bobby Keys. I didn’t know who he was and I figured out he was the sax player for the Rolling Stones. Listening to that music was very influential in teaching me how to play simple, how to play rock ’n’ roll. I had been listening to him for 30 years, so when I got the gig it felt right.

GH: What are some of your favorite Bobby Keys solos?

KD: “Casino Boogie” (off “Exile on Main St.”), that solo is genius. If you want to listen to what Bobby Keys was all about, “Casino Boogie” is the song to listen to.

GH: What’s the biggest audience you ever played with the Stones?

KD: In Quebec City a few years ago, we played in an open park and there was 120,000. Oh wait, now that I think about it, it was Havana. There were at least a half a million people there.

GH: Is that part of the allure of KDTU, playing in front of a small crowd so you can connect with an audience in a way you never could in a stadium?

KD: I just like playing music, whether I’m playing in a stadium or a small room. There’s a thing about bands like the Stones. They play a stadium like it’s a little room. That’s the crazy part. At that level, it’s about the songs. And their songbook is so strong that they can play in front of 60,000 people and make it feel like there are 300 in the room.

GH: Speaking of songbook, what are your two favorite Rolling Stones records?

KD: (long pause) “Sticky Fingers,” because of the saxophone work, and “Exile on Main St.” Those are kind of the normal top two you hear, but there’s a reason for that. I have songs on the others that I love, but as far as albums those are the two.

GH: You toured with Anders Osborne several years ago and played “Sticky Fingers” in its entirety here in Telluride in our hockey rink on Halloween. That’s a legendary show in these parts.

KD: That tour was my audition tape for the Stones. We sent them a version of me singing and playing “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” from those shows.

GH: A few years ago, KDTU started playing the Pink Floyd song “Fearless.” That is an interesting choice for a funk band to cover. The last thing I would think is Karl D is going to cover this song.

KD: That was a management choice. My manager threw that at me and I liked it. I have another one that’s coming out in the next year that’s like “Fearless” that will surprise people when they hear it.

GH: How about surprising us this weekend with it?

KD: No, not yet. We’re in Allman Brothers mode now. We did an Allman Brothers tribute last year and we’ve been traveling around with some Allman Brothers in our pocket.

GH: Again, Southern rock isn’t exactly an obvious choice for KDTU.

KD: I started playing guitar in 2013 and as a result I picked up a second guitarist, this great slide player named Seth Freeman. That was a sea change for the band. Seth cut his teeth on the slide guitar of Duane Allman.

A friend of ours was a good friend with Gregg, and he told us that Gregg always wanted horns but Duane didn’t want them, and after Duane died the reason they never had horns is because Gregg was honoring Duane’s wishes. So when he heard how we wrote horn arrangements to Allman Brothers tunes, he thought it was something Gregg really would have loved.

GH: What would you like people to say when you are no longer with us?

KD: I just want to be remembered as quality. That’s my main goal, that you can still listen to the music and that it still makes sense, that it will be timeless.

GH: They’ll still be listening to the Stones in 100 years.

KD: I’ll tag team on that if I can.


Re: In praise of Mr. Denson
Posted by: MisterDDDD ()
Date: February 16, 2018 17:20

Thanks for that, Cristiano.
Interesting read.

Casino Boogie

Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: RoughJusticeOnYa ()
Date: February 16, 2018 17:22

Many thanx for posting & transcribing, Cristiano! Fascinating read.
Love Karl's playing, btw.

Re: In prize of Mr. Denson
Posted by: hopkins ()
Date: February 16, 2018 23:07

TY Christiano; Have long been interested in reading more about him, and from him.
Interesting comment on "Casino Boogie," cause that's all feel.
There's no 'tiaras' or really fast riffs or melodies, he's not blowing hard for that big growl; all the cool signature things we'd usually register as dynamics and 'wow' power in a solo. We all enjoy those I think.
But here Bobby's mostly playing one's a steaming slowly rolled-out sorta 'feel' thing it seems to me; (love it btw)
and not a 'virtuoso' kinda showcase and blow.
To me it shows Karl is connected to the feel as Bobby slowly reels that short solo out. 3/4's of it seems like he's just warming up around that one note;
than a few bars of a nice and complementary melody and that's it.
There are so many 'masterpiece' recordings, (imo) on Exile...
...Karl reminds me that this is one of them....
been listening to studio Exile for days...
that seems to come like it's own season now and again.
just letting it play and letting it tear my head open and off.
Good for Karl. I'm a fan.


"...I'm a monkey! I'm a monkey!
Monkey! monkey! monkey!"
M. Jagger & K. Richards

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