Having just completed a tour of Australia and New Zealand as saxophonist in The Rolling Stones, San Diego-based funk-rock icon Karl Denson gets back to it with his band Tiny Universe and special guest MCs Vokab Kompany to present Run DMC Remixed. This whole new jazz adventure reinvents hits from the groundbreaking rappers like It’s Tricky, My Adidas and King of Rock. Denson sits down to us to discuss his forthcoming tour and jazz in youths.
So Karl, this tour with the Tiny Universe is paying tribute to hip-hop legends Run-DMC, and you’re bringing Vokab Kompany along as well. How did you link up with them on this collaboration?
Well Dave our keyboard player has been writing with Vocab for several years now and did most of the music for their last record. We had a few different choices of who to use but thought the amount of work involved would take a really dedicated pair of MC’s. Vocab fit the bill on that level as well as our friendship with them. As we expected, they came for the first rehearsal well prepared, which made the process much easier.
Do you have a certain approach to “remixing” the songs for this tour?
In most cases we kind of started with the original track that the sample came from and build out from there.
Do you have a favorite Run-DMC song to perform live?
Even though I don’t actually play saxophone on this track, It’s Tricky is definitely my favorite. It reminds me of the movie “Road Trip” and makes me want to just jump around and dance like I’m in a fraternity.
Towards the end of last year, you went on tour with the Rolling Stones through Australia and New Zealand. How was that experience?
It was pretty much everything you would expect from a Rolling Stones tour; very plush. And every night you get to hear a Rolling Stones concert.
How did you develop your broad taste in music?
I had a lot of different styles of really great music around my house as a kid and continued to seek out new stuff in my desire to be a good writer, I made a point to try to listen to everything and find out what really good music was.
Do you see yourself as a point of entry into jazz? Do you believe it’s important for younger audiences to listen to jazz at all?
Hopefully I’m a point of entry for some people. I definitely hope that younger audiences develop a taste for jazz. I was thinking that same thing recently on the ski trip with my kids and I was listening to some Freddie Hubbard and thought to myself, “Gee! I hope these guys someday know what it feels like to listen to good swing.”
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe performs live at VENUE on February 18th.
By Miles Wong
|Jan 18||Taggart & Torrens||Fortune|
|Jan 19||Jacob Banks||Venue|
|Jan 24||MadeinTYO (All Ages)||Venue|
|Jan 30||The Lemon Twigs||Venue|
|Jan 31||Chrome Sparks||Fortune|
|Jan 31||Tyler Shaw||Venue|
|Feb 2||Jordan Waller||Venue|
|Feb 7||King Tuff||Fortune|
|Feb 7||Monster Truck||Venue|
|Feb 9||Monster Truck||Venue|
|Feb 16||Humans (Edmonton)||Chvrch Of John|
|Feb 16||Lil Mosey (All Ages)||Venue|
|Feb 16||Yves Tumor||Celebrities Underground|
|Feb 17||Humans (Calgary)||Commonwealth|
|Feb 17||Lil Mosey (All Ages)||Venue|
|Feb 19||Shad (Calgary)||Commonwealth|
|Feb 21||David August||Imperial|
|Feb 23||Common Kings||Venue|
|Feb 23||Maribou State||Fortune|
|Feb 28||RKCB & Shoffy||Fox|
|Mar 2||BAYNK||Celebs UG|
|Mar 3||Yung Gravy (All Ages)||Venue|
|Mar 10||Bryce Vine||Venue|
|Mar 12||Mike Stud||Fortune|
|Mar 13||Tiffany Young||Venue|
|Mar 16||Big Wild||Commodore|
|Mar 16||Kid Trunks and Craig Xen||Fortune|
|Mar 27||Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers||Venue|
|Mar 28||Quinn XCII||Commodore|
|Apr 3||Tommy Genesis||Fortune|
|Apr 4||Lil Tracy||Fortune|
|Apr 5||Snowbombing Canada 2019||Sun Peaks|
|Apr 30||Peter Bjorn And John||Venue|
|May 8||Jai Wolf||Venue|
|Jun 14||Sticky Fingers||Commodore|
|Jul 5||FVDED In The Park 2019||Holland Park|
|Nov 4||Peter Hook & the Light||Venue|