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items tagged with Karl Denson

Working the Grooves: Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, September 19 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-09-10 14:28:41

Karl DensonWhen saxophonist, flutist, composer, and singer Karl Denson discusses Brother's Keeper, the new record from Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, you could be forgiven for thinking he's talking about essays instead of songs.

After he finished the first drafts of the songs, he sent them to Tiny Universe keyboardist David Veith, who did what Denson called "revisions." Switchfoot's Jon Foreman also helped out with vocals and some melodies. "I wanted to get some depth as far as not having it just be my ideas," Denson said last week in a phone interview.

Three months of "revisions" resulted in the record being extraordinarily exact, particularly for the funk/soul genre, yet Brother's Keeper never sounds insular or overworked; the grooves not only survive but often sing.

"You think of writing songs as just sitting around the campfire, and everybody has an idea, or you have a great story you tell with a guitar," said Denson, whose six-piece band will perform at RIBCO on Saturday, September 19. But certain types of music -- to be done well -- require time and sweat. "The idea of more pop records or even a great classical piece -- there's always revision going on," he said. "The best way to do a record is to do it at least once and possibly twice before you actually record. That was the process with this record."

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