Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe Takes Troubadour To New Dimension Of Funk And Jazz In Los Angeles [Recap]

first_imgLoad remaining images Karl Denson’s career is, in some respects, a microcosm of modern music history. The Santa Ana, California native found prominence as a member of Lenny Kravitz’s band, co-founded the Greyboy All-Stars, has recorded with Slightly Stoopid and Blackalicious (among others), and currently plays in The Rolling Stones’ touring band.As a musical talent, however, Karl is in a universe all his own—and not as small as he would have you think. During a chilly March evening in Los Angeles, Denson showed just how expansive his skills and repertoire can be during a rollicking show with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe at The Troubadour.Related: Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe Releases First New Album In Five Years Throughout their scorching two-hour set, Karl and company kept the crowd moving and grooving to a slew of funky, jazzy jams. To that end, the 62-year-old did much of the heavy lifting by way of a steady rotation of instruments. There was plenty of scintillating saxophone—both tenor and bass—on “Catchin’ Sparks”, in addition to their cover of The Stones’ “Under My Thumb” and the Afrobeat-heavy tracks “Rich Man’s Wife” and “Elephants”.When he wasn’t busy with brass, Karl used his inner-wind to belt out the stirringly rangy vocals on “My Baby Likes to Boogaloo”, “Shake It Out”, and “Mighty Rebel”. He continued the same effort on “Gossip” and “What If You Knew” from KDTU’s new album, Gnomes and Badgers. Anytime Karl’s hands were free, he was sure to be utilizing his shaker, smacking a tambourine, or even filling a prescription for more cowbell, as he did during “Satisfied”.Karl’s most impressive performance of the evening, though, may well have come on the flute. His work on the woodwind was extraordinary, with a particularly arresting display of circular breathing during a winding solo during the encore performance of Alan Evans’ “Have You Seen Him”.Still, as much musical space as Karl occupied, his universe left plenty of room for the rest of his band to shine. Besides his written contributions, Evans held down the group’s funky beats on the drums with aplomb. Chris Stilwell did his part to keep the grooves flowing by way of his bass. Chris Littlefield’s trumpeting was spectacular—the Scottie Pippen to Denson’s Michael Jordan on wind instruments—and took some turns on keys next to the exemplary board work of David Veith. D.J. Williams didn’t just look the part of a hipster Gary Clark Jr.–he played it on his guitar, too. Seth Freeman ripped his own guitar plenty, too, when he wasn’t mesmerizing the audience with his slide guitar abilities.Together, KDTU created a cosmos of sonic energy strong enough to permeate well beyond the bounds of West Hollywood that the Troubadour calls home. Come summer, Karl will be blending his versatile talents back into those of another band when he hits the road with the Rolling Stones on their own North American tour.So if (or when) you catch the Stones in concert on their No Filter North American Tour and notice a certain sax player wailing away behind Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and their cohort, just know that the man behind that instrument is as out-of-this-world from a talent perspective as anybody on that stage.Fans can check out the gallery below for a mix of photos captured during Thursday’s show, courtesy of Brandon WeilThe band’s 2019 winter-into-spring tour continues on Saturday with a scheduled performance at The Independent in San Francisco. Fans can head to his website for tour ticket info.Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe | The Troubador | West Hollywood, CA | 3/14/2019 | Photos: Brandon Weillast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *