StLJn Saturday Video Showcase: Karl Denson's Tiny Universe revisited


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This week, let's take a look at some videos featuring saxophonist and singer Karl Denson and his band Tiny Universe, who are coming back to St. Louis for a gig on Friday, June 21 at the Atomic Cowboy Pavilion.

After an absence of nearly six years, KDTU were here most recently in December of last year for a show at the Old Rock House, and Denson's back story was recapped in a Saturday video post preceding that gig.

Given that previous coverage, today's post will skip straight to a selection of recent performances recorded since then featuring the current Tiny Universe lineup, which in addition to Denson on tenor sax, flute, and vocals includes Alan Evans of Soulive on drums, plus Chris Littlefield (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals), Chris Stillwell (bass), David Veith (keyboards), and Seth Freeman (guitar).

Given all the time Denson has spent playing the jam band circuit, it shouldn't be surprising that a Grateful Dead song or two has found its way into the Tiny Universe repertoire, as you can see in the first video up above, a version of the Dead's “West LA Fadeaway" recorded in May of this year at the 930 Club in Washington, DC.

After the jump, Denson reaches back for a truly deep cut with a cover of “Funky On My Back," first recorded by the San Francisco band Cold Blood in 1970, and seen here in a video made at a show in January at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Next up are a couple of full sets, the first recorded in June of this year at Ardmore Music Hall in Philadelphia, and the second from last December in Asheville, NC, for which Denson and company are augmented by guitarists DJ Williams and Jimmy Herring.

Herring and Williams also are both on board for the last two clips, versions of the Brecker Brothers' “Some Skunk Funk" and Steely Dan's “Showbiz Kids" that were recorded in December of last year at Terminal West in Atlanta.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.

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