Singer/saxophonist/flutist Karl Denson fronts the Tiny Universe as if he’s preaching the gospel. Highly regarded as one of the best live acts on the planet, KDTU distills the sweeping stylistic range of its concert performances into their own authentic sound featuring Denson and his long-standing seven piece unit. His energy and spirit are contagious while his songwriting serves a larger message of fellowship—across generations, genders, religions and cultures. Not surprisingly, he’s none too pleased with the current state of political discourse. Thus the reason why KDTU’s last album, ‘Gnomes & Badgers’ (out now on Seven Spheres Records), is Denson’s hard-grooving answer to these tragically divisive times. He was a member of Lenny Kravitz‘s band and has co-founded and led The Greyboy Allstars. Denson has recorded with artists including Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Slightly Stoopid, Blind Boys of Alabama, Blackalicious, Stanton Moore, and Jon Foreman of the rock band Switchfoot. He amazingly continues to lead his own KDTU and Karl Denson Trio (KD3), while touring with the Rolling Stones since 2014 to date.
I had the pleasure of catching up quickly with Mr. Denson right before he was heading out on a well deserved and hardly gotten vacation. So a biG greenarrowradio thank you to him for making the time. We talk about the upcoming event Live on King St. Free Convert Series coming up September 16th and get to know a couple of the newer names in the Tiny Universe. Karl opens up about his writing process and his recent listening back to his varied catalog and how that is making him feel since he is one who is usually a forward listener. We also learn a little about how he gets into an artist he likes. Karl mentions why working with someone like PHILCO, helps keep that innovative/improvisational tool in his toolbox sharp. He may also reveal what solo he plays as a member of the Stones gives him a special feel…maybe.