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  • Jonathan Knop wrote on June 16, 2007 report

    Karl Denson Trio (KD3)
    June 14th, 2007
    Bluebird Theater
    Denver, CO

    What a show. Tonight reminded me of Ralph Ellison's description of live jazz as a “an ecstacy of rhythm and memory and brassy affirmation of the goodness of being alive and part of the community.” I normally findmyself musically in the open-minded jazz community. Even though I consider the KD3 to be jazz, the community last night was mostly the jam band community. Regardless we shared a grooving, searching evening
    of organ trio jazz. Switching to other keyboards we ventured into Headhunters-era Hancock and early 1970s Grant Green funk.

    With only three musicians, everyone fills more space. There is also the opportunity for more interaction, and the KD3 take advantage. It was evident from tonight's show that the musicians listened to each other very closely. Responding and prodding. On most songs, drummer Brett Sanders was very adventurous while still maintaining a tight groove. All three members are technically-gifted players, and it showed. Anthony Smith's organ and keyboard comping was first-rate, pushing KD further and further while delivering top-light solos on his own. This was my first time to catch Denson live, and was blown away by his jazz chops. I have never heard a more muscular flute.

    Catch the Karl Denson Trio when they come by. It won't hurt you jazz fans to get out and shake your ass some without giving up the jazz interplay. You jam band fans can expose yourself to some hip jazz chops without giving up the groove. Though it would be a shame if this band does not get the jazz cred it deserves, it brings the jazz to the jam band circuit and that is a great thing. Jazz lives and grooves wherever the Karl Denson Trio can be found.