353

The Karl Denson Trio: Lunar Orbit

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
The Karl Denson Trio: Lunar Orbit The Karl Denson Trio's Lunar Orbit is the perfect title because it conjures visions of space and time in an apt musical metaphor. The sound of the album spans eras of style, these musicians revivifying what is all- too-often merely flat or formulaic

There's a great atmosphere to this CD right from the start, and it only deepens as the tracks progress. Textures abound in the contrast of horns, percussion and organ on "Plain Truth, and warmth permeates even the electronic keyboards in a seductive way. The way that cut honks into motion is a good example of how the sequencing creates the illusion of one extended jam session.

Accordingly, an element of the unpredictable also permeates Lunar Orbit, most obviously in the playing of the leader. His use of flute on the title song catches by surprise since sax is his main axe, but a return to flute near the end of the album imparts continuity. "Break Me Down illustrates the lessons Denson's learned playing with likes of The Allman Brothers Band, Gov't Mule and Medeski, Martin and Wood, as well as his other projects including The Greyboy Allstars and Tiny Universe.

Likewise, "Ghetto Fireworks makes it clear he's listened to Rahsaan Roland Kirk. The way the musicians interact as a unit recalls classic organ ensembles of the fifties. "Won't Somebody demonstrates how Denson and co. avoid playing it safe—you know the sax is going to enter after a few pumps of the organ, but are seduced by the transition anyway. Likewise, as the group toys with the melody line, they never succumb to merely playing it, but play with it—can you hear the tease of "Come and Get Your Love ?

There is nothing static about this music, despite what seems to be a conscious decision to keep it simple. With rhythm permeating everything he plays, Denson is nothing if not a humble yet confident bandleader. He allows more than ample space for keyboardists Kenneth Crouch, Will Blades and Anthony Smith to solo. Seven musicians participate in this recording overall, yet the chemistry's maintained throughout. The most extended track, "Appointment Only, suggests what a treat it'd be to see this group live, but it's a testament to the durability of the music, and the pure sound of this recording, that seeing KD3 would not make Lunar Orbit obsolete.

Track Listing: Lunar Orbit; Break Me Down; Ghetto Fireworks (Part 1); The Plain Truth; Won't Somebody; Dingo Dog Sled; Ghetto Fireworks (Part 2); By Appointment Only; That Other Thing; Ghetto Fireworks.

Personnel: Karl Denson: saxophone, flute; Kenneth Crouch: keyboards, organ; Aaron Redfield: drums, programming; Will Blades: organ; Jake Najor: drums; Anthony Smith: organ; Steve Haney: congas.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Bobby Ace Records | Style: Funk/Groove


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read Numbers CD/LP/Track Review Numbers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 30, 2017
Read Copenhagen Live 1964 CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 30, 2017
Read The Busker CD/LP/Track Review The Busker
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 30, 2017
Read Pathways CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by Jerome Wilson
Published: May 30, 2017
Read This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Nigerian Spirit CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read "Time on My Hands" CD/LP/Track Review Time on My Hands
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "Moments Captured" CD/LP/Track Review Moments Captured
by Andrew Luhn
Published: May 12, 2017
Read "Sharpener" CD/LP/Track Review Sharpener
by Nick Davies
Published: December 21, 2016
Read "Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin' at Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge" CD/LP/Track Review Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin' at Morey...
by Doug Collette
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Roots & Transitions" CD/LP/Track Review Roots & Transitions
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 4, 2016

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!