Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe: Friday @ The Brooklyn Bowl‏

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe @ The Brooklyn Bowl
There are certain artists, that when you say their name, you expect everyone in the vicinity to know that name. You expect them to register your statement with a big bright smile on their face in recognition of the greatness of said name that just escaped your lips. When I say Karl Denson, I immediately expect people to raise their heads, their glasses, and their hearts in salute to THE MAN who can manipulate a saxophone with the best of the best. Often times, this doesn't happen! Many of the greatest artists on the scene are, for lack of a better word, hidden, for those of us willing to seek them out.

On the other hand, if I were to say Lenny Kravitz, everyone would know that name. He is plastered all over the radio and TV and I don't ever turn those contraptions on. What is a radio again? But, saying Lenny Kravitz's name, it would register, even with the most uneducated of music lovers. What a lot of people do not know is that Karl Denson was in Lenny Kravitz's band years ago and where his fame grew. Now, not to knock him by any means, but I have and never will go to a Lenny Kravitz concert. Karl on the other hand...I will NEVER EVER EVER miss a Karl Denson show. This past weekend at the Brooklyn Bowl, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe brought THE HOUSE DOWN with funky goodness two nights in a row. I honestly, don't know where to begin...

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe @ The Brooklyn Bowl
I arrived at the venue with my friend. We thought we were running late but there was not even a line at the ID check and it was already past 9pm. OK? Again, my point being made that people don't know good music when it come and hits them in the face. But no worries, the slow start gave us plenty of time to talk with friends, maneuver to the front and lay down our belongings, setting up for the rager that was about to take place. Standing around a little while longer, still nothing so we took a trip outside. While hanging out in the fresh air, a taxi pulls up and chills by the stage door. My friend and I continue our conversation and see Pete Shapiro, owner of the Brooklyn Bowl and in my opinion, probably the luckiest man on earth, come out talking to a roadie. "I have to pay the taxi," he says, as Karl Denson steps out of the taxi and into view. "Hi Karl," I say, "JAM CRUUUUISE!" He turns and smiles :) My friend and I quickly turn away to make our way inside because NOW the show can commence!
I am at the Brooklyn Bowl so often, it seems funny to have to describe it in every review. All I am going to say this time is that it is the coolest venue in all of New York City. Hands down. Period. End of story. Get your fannys there as soon as you can. Members of Karl Denson's Tiny Universe took the stage sometime between 10:10pm and 10:30pm. OK, right up front, I am telling you this is a long review, even for my standards...the show was three hours of straight raging funk from one of my favorite's a doozie and worth the read! :) The stage was set up as follows, from left to right:

David Veith (keyboards)
Chris Littlefield (trumpet)
John Staten (drums)
Karl Denson (saxophone/flute)
Chris Stillwell (bass)
Brian Jordan (guitar)

Oh man, what a line up. Karl has put together a talented group of musicians who all deserve to be fronting their own bands. I just truly love every single player in this group and I don't say that often. Karl came out in a jacket and slacks, Brian Jordan began strumming his guitar, Karl picked up the microphone and immediately blasted into Sister Jane. And at that point there was "nothing going on but a FUNKY SONG!!" Good lord! He just slammed right into it. The horns went at it. He beckoned us to warm up our pipes and join the song. There was shouts into the audience and we returned them. "Ahh, Yaa, Yeah, Yoooo!!" Karl fiercely laced into his saxophone, screaming at us with that blessed thing then throwing it down to pick up the tambourine. First song into the night and I almost broke into tears!
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