“They’re like The Neville Brothers on speed.”
If you have not seen Karl Denson yet, I say, stop reading this and find a show near you. Highly recommended.
photo by: J. Gullo
I danced, oh lord did I dance. Caught the show both nights they were in Brooklyn, and my friends told me to prepare myself. Karl Denson and the Tiny Universe is tight, loud and in your face funky, fun, makes ya feel good kinda groovy. There was a plethora of horns. I was in heaven.
Friday night’s show was a bit more jazzier than Saturday’s funk throwdown. Karl plays the sax and the flute, the guitarist wails (seriously, he wails on that thing), the trumpet is so nice, keys – screaming, bass pounding and the drummer – um, well… hmm. Flute. Karl plays flute. Ahhh. They played this killer experimental jazz thing, can’t describe it – but it was strange and lovely and groovy all at the same time. Then, they raged. Got on stage at 10:30, left at 1:30ish. Sweet. Raged hard that second set. I left very very psyched to see them again – kinda had that feeling that they were gonna blow the roof off on Saturday.
Photo by: J. Gullo
Members of Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe include: Karl Denson (saxophone, flute), Ron Johnson (bass), Chris Littlefield (trumpet), Brian Jordan (guitar), David Veith (keyboards) and John Staten (drums).
Saturday night was just power. Straight in your face power, get up and dance your thing power. They blasted the Brooklyn Bowl with the stinkiest, funkiest thing I’ve seen in a while. They weren’t letting up. We were in Karl’s Tiny Universe for sure and we just kept getting funkier. First set they played some songs I knew, and some I didn’t. It didn’t matter, I was dancing. I love Karl. He’s my new favorite.
Photo by: J. Gullo
I stomped my feet. Hard. I didn’t take many notes, I was dancing too hard. I didn’t care. I was in it, swirling within the horns, the drums, Karl’s sexy awesome voice. Those men were smokin’ hot up there, all of them. Phewww. It got hot. I was getting warm, my hair was lifting into its afro-style curls. The crowd was dancing, it wasn’t too crowded, I had my dance bubble, and it was awesome. Strangers smiling to strangers, dancing with each other. Yeah.
Jess Lurie comes on and she tweaks that sax so it sounds squeaky. Love squeaky sax. Karl had this elecronic thing on his sax and it made it sound like a guitar. A guitar with a reed. Bizarro, and beautiful. It was really a cool sound. The twinkly flute raging into the beat. Holy moly. The “tat-tat” of the drums. Really, the drums. How do you say incredible driving the 1 to the ground with a back beat on the 2 and 3… I tried to focus in on what I was hearing but as my friend said, it’s typically the New Orleans backbeat on top of the driving beat. I don’t know what it’s called. But it’s sick, and shakes the groove up.
I have also figured out that if I do manage to get to the front of the Brooklyn Bowl, I put myself under the speakers, so it’s not blasting my ears. This is a good thing to know. Plus, my pictures look better.
Please, please… I want more Karl Denson and that funky Tiny Universe….and my head once again turns towards New Orleans, for Jazzfest. Karl got me all riled up.
Listen to the show on Archive.org
2. Sister Janie
3. Funky Song
4. Family Tree
5. banter – my first artichoke
6. The Clap
8. Can You Feel It
9. Shake It Out
10. Brother’s Keeper, Pt. 1 ->
11. Brother’s Keeper, Pt. 2
3. Soul Driftin’
4. banter – big ass salad
5. Expressions -> +
6. Where It Counts
7. banter – newlyweds
8. Make It A Cosmopolitan
9. Satisfied -> *
10. (Somebody Got) Soul Soul Soul