With the release of the Jam Cruise line up yesterday, I can’t stop thinking of the artist and how they impact our time on the boat. Running into them in the elevators, having them knock on your cabin door when they hear the pop of a champagne bottle or laying down their food tray to have a leisurely meal with a fan in the dining hall.
As I looked at the line up, I noticed the familiar names. There is always a George Porter project, an Eric Krasno project, a Karl Denson project. The latter is the artist I have been thinking the most about. I just missed two nights of a 3-set GreyBoy Allstars show at the Brooklyn Bowl due to being in the hospital taking care of my boy toy, Josh!
I met Josh at the Karl Denson Tiny Universe shows just about a year or so ago. During Bowlive 2010, Josh and I actually got a chance to speak to him and thank him for helping us meet. His response to us: “Just make sure you show me pictures of the children.” Classic Karl. Needless to say, he holds a special place in our hearts.
Karl’s name is yet again plastered as a Jam Cruise headliner, leading his project Karl Denson Tiny Universe. It was on my first Jam Cruise, Jam Cruise 8, that I truly got to experience Karl Denson in all his glory. But not as a member of The GreyBoy Allstars, not as a member of The Tiny Universe. No, this project was called Sexual Chocolate.
With outstanding talent, worth ethic and enthusiasm, Karl Denson is one of the most respected men in the Funk music community. Amazing us with his saxophone and flute skills, among other instruments, Karl Denson fronts bands such as Karl Denson Tiny Universe and GreyBoy Allstars! But have you ever heard of his involvement with Sexual Chocolate?
If you haven’t already watched it, go rent Coming to America! Eddie Murphy plays many rolls throughout the movie but the best role was as the band leader of Sexual Chocolate. And who’s playing saxophone for this gnarly band? None other than our beloved Karl Denson.
For many years Sexual Chocolate was out of commission but lucky for us, Karl Denson decided to breathe life into this fictional band by performing a funky Sexual Chocolate set on Jam Cruise 8 in January of this year.
Backing Karl on stage was an Allstar cast consisting of the members of KDTU, Debrissa McKinney (Josh Phillips Folk Festival), Jeff Coffin (Bela Fleck and the Flecktones), Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk), Jans Ingber and Liza Oxnard (The Motet). A super special surprise came when legendary harmonica player Lee Oskar (WAR), a guest on the boat, came out on Galaxy, an actual WAR cover.
Please enjoy these funky and jazzy tunes which can be downloaded below!
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe ~ 01-07-10 ~ JamCruise 8 ~ Theatro Carlo Felice ~ MSC Poesia
1. …banter… (2:01)
2. Front Money (5:57)
3. Galaxy (13:25)
4. Groovy Thing (5:15)
5. Fallin’ (6:06)
6. Flute Down (8:54)
7. Mighty Rebel (9:23)
8. Groove On (9:31)