The Kate

S5 E6 | FULL EPISODE

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe

Singer and saxophonist Karl Denson fronts the Tiny Universe as if he is preaching the gospel, and the energy and spirit he brings to The Kate stage is potent. With a reputation as one of the great live bands, Denson and the Tiny Universe perform their jazz-funk jams including “Dance Lesson No. 2,” “Something Sweet,” “I’m Your Biggest Fan,” “Change My Way” and more.

AIRED: May 11, 2020 | 0:57:41
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TRANSCRIPT

(lively jazz music)

I grew up in Orange County, California.

I'm 63 so, you know, when you think about it,

the best music ever made was probably between '65 and '75.

So, I was right in the, right in that honey hole.

And then I had four older siblings

and they all played music.

Hearing Motown and pre-Motown and then James Brown happened,

and Marvin Gaye happened,

and Sly and the Family Stone happened.

It was really a kind of a cool time.

And then seventh grade I started playing

saxophone officially.

And then by the time I was maybe 12, 13,

my older brother became a jazz guy.

(lively jazz music)

And so I started hearing Eddie Harris and Yusef Lateef,

and Rahsaan Roland Kirk and John Coltrane

and Miles Davis.

(lively jazz music)

They were all multi-instrumentalists,

so there was always a flute in the mix.

(upbeat flute music)

You know people give Ian Anderson credit

for the whole singing into the flute thing,

but that was Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

Go on YouTube and watch Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

He's this blind saxophone player,

who played three horns at one time.

Incredible, mind blowing.

It's the most magical, mystical,

weird thing you'll ever see.

And he plays the flute like I wanna play the flute.

And I didn't realize, even your best guys

like Dizzy and Bird and Miles and Trane,

like they played the blues.

Then I started, you know, getting into Son House

and Muddy Waters, and Mississippi John Hurt.

Like those guys totally blew my mind.

Then realizing the connection between The Rolling Stones,

and The Beatles and how they revered these guys

and then I finally got it.

It's really changed my life.

♪ You gotta, you gotta, you gotta shake it out ♪

♪ Shake it out

(audience cheering)

♪ I'm sitting on the back porch, sipping lemonade ♪

♪ I got some satisfaction, I really got it made ♪

♪ The radio is humming, all of my favorite tunes ♪

♪ You know I'm feeling fine, a little red, red wine ♪

♪ So I just start to croon

♪ It's alright if you wanna (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ It's alright if you're gonna (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ It's alright if you need to (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ It's alright, you can be you (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ You gotta shake it out

♪ You know you gotta shake it out ♪

♪ Woo ooh ooh

♪ Ooh ooh ooh ooh

♪ Woo ooh ooh

♪ Ooh ooh ooh ooh

♪ Me and my own lady

♪ Went out the other night

♪ We met some friends for dinner ♪

♪ Then danced away the night

♪ Went on for a night cap

♪ And what comes naturally

♪ And when the moment came and she called my name ♪

♪ I let her know it was me

♪ It's all right if you wanna (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ It's alright if you're gonna (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ It's alright if you need to (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ It's alright 'cause you can be you (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ It's alright if you wanna (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ It's alright if you're gonna (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ It's alright if you need to (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ It's alright, you can be you (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ You gotta shake it out

♪ You know you gotta shake it out ♪

♪ You got to, got to shake it out ♪

♪ You gotta shake it out

All right, Kate, let's shake it out.

Y'all ready to shake it out?

Come on.

♪ It's alright, (shake that thing) ♪

♪ It's alright, (shake that thing) ♪

♪ It's alright, (shake that thing) ♪

♪ It's alright, (shake that thing) ♪

♪ It's alright, (shake that thing) ♪

♪ It's alright, (shake that thing) ♪

♪ It's alright, (shake that thing) ♪

♪ It's all, it's all, it's alright ♪

♪ It's alright if you wanna (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ It's alright if you're gonna (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ It's alright if you need to (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ It's alright 'cause you can be you (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ It's all right if you wanna (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ It's alright if you're gonna (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ It's alright if you need to (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ It's alright, you can be you (yeah yeah) ♪

♪ You gotta shake it out

♪ You got to, got to shake it out ♪

♪ You got to, got to shake it out ♪

♪ You gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta ♪

♪ Gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta ♪

♪ You got to, you got to, got to shake it out ♪

♪ Woo ooh ooh

♪ You got to, got to, I gotta shake it out ♪

♪ Woo ooh ooh ooh ooh

♪ You know you gotta

♪ You know ya, you gotta, you gotta ♪

♪ You gotta, you gotta shake it out ♪

♪ Shake it out

(cheering and applause)

(relaxed jazz music)

(lively jazz music)

(audience cheering)

(jazz drum beats)

(lively jazz music)

(cheers and applause)

KARL: Thank you, so much.

♪ We were late night smokin' talkin' ♪

♪ UK style at the bar

♪ Second trip to the powder room ♪

♪ I came walkin' back, boom there you are ♪

♪ Must of neutralized my defense straight into my confidence ♪

♪ Clever how you killed the urge to flee ♪

♪ With an old picture of you and me ♪

♪ The fog was lifting from the edges of a swollen brain ♪

♪ Out of the mist temptation turns into a summer rain ♪

♪ So smooth fine and tall with a walk that says it all ♪

♪ And there's someone on the line, might just be a sign ♪

♪ Hey wait, what's the rush

♪ Don't you see I think that you're the man ♪

♪ Don't worry, I'm not crazy I'm your biggest fan ♪

♪ I'm your biggest fan

♪ I said goodbye then I worked my way back over to my chair ♪

♪ Sure enough a few minutes later ♪

♪ I looked up, you were there

♪ Jedi mind trick one of my crew continuation of a rendezvous ♪

♪ How winsom the ocean roar ♪

♪ As the sea cries falling from the shore ♪

♪ They're all oblivious to the growing tension in the air ♪

♪ It's your advantage and you ain't playin' fair ♪

♪ I bone out hail a cab let the crew pick up the tab ♪

♪ As I render my address you open up the door ♪

♪ Hey wait, what's the rush

♪ Don't you see I think that you're the man ♪

♪ Don't worry, I'm not crazy I'm your biggest fan ♪

♪ I'm your biggest fan

♪ 15 stories fill the sky the fateful moment's coming soon ♪

♪ My blood is pumpin' like a werewolf at the glowing moon ♪

♪ My ears are back my ID just won't behave ♪

♪ A little kiss, a playful bite I close the door and wave ♪

♪ You know they said

♪ That God can give you anything you want ♪

♪ But make sure what you want is what you need ♪

♪ And as I closed the door you smiled and said ♪

♪ I still think you're the man ♪

♪ And don't worry,I'm not crazy I'm your biggest fan ♪

♪ I'm your biggest fan

♪ I'm your biggest fan

(cheering and applause)

(funky music)

♪ I don't care you're not like me you should go home ♪

♪ You gotta know when you gotta go and you gotta go ♪

♪ Right hand over my heart I learned the poem ♪

♪ You gotta go when you gotta go and you gotta know ♪

♪ In a fantasy, red white and blue ♪

♪ I can see what I wanna see and it's only me ♪

♪ Brought your savior too

♪ In a state of amazing grace I can see his face ♪

♪ They found him dead under a rising sun ♪

♪ The place where freedom lay

♪ Do you think he was the only one ♪

♪ Look around and see the mark he made ♪

♪ Uh come on, come on sign post says ♪

♪ I got to change my way

♪ Come on, come on look both ways ♪

♪ That's what the wise men say

♪ Come on, come on sign post says ♪

♪ I got to change my way

♪ Come on, come on look both ways ♪

♪ A flag of hate over a state of fear ♪

♪ Tells me it ain't what you mean when you're killing me ♪

♪ We all need to be packin' is what I hear ♪

♪ Tells me it ain't what you mean when you're killing me ♪

♪ Both perp and patsy their roles reversed ♪

♪ You're colorblind but in your mind ♪

♪ You see in black and white

♪ Prey for the guilty speeches well rehearsed ♪

♪ You're colorblind but in your mind ♪

♪ You see in black and white

♪ Actions speak loud and plain my friend ♪

♪ Talk is for the fool

♪ It's not how it starts but how the story ends ♪

♪ What happened to the golden rule ♪

♪ Come on, come on sign post says ♪

♪ I got to change my way

♪ Come on, come on look both ways ♪

♪ That's what the wise man says ♪

♪ Come on, come on sign post says ♪

♪ I got to, I got to change my way ♪

♪ Come on, come on look both ways ♪

♪ Come on, come on sign post says ♪

♪ I got to change my way

♪ Come on, come on look both ways ♪

♪ That's what the wise men

♪ That's what the wise men say

♪ Come on, come on sign post says ♪

♪ I got to change, I got to change ♪

♪ Come on, come on look both ways ♪

♪ That's what the wise men say

♪ Sign post says

♪ That's what the wise men say

♪ Come on

♪ Look away

♪ Look both ways

♪ Come on

♪ Sign post says

♪ I got to, I got to change my way ♪

♪ Come on, come on

♪ Come on, come on, come on, come on ♪

♪ Come on, come on

♪ Come on, come on, come on, come on ♪

(audience cheering)

KARL: Gnomes and Badgers was a funny little

title that came up.

(lively jazz music)

Kinda went along with my whole idea of this

whole democrat republican thing that we've got going

right now that's so disturbing.

And so I thought, "This will be a nice way to

"start talking about what I feel about

"where we're at right now."

Which is that we're losing our compassion.

I was raised Christian.

And to see these Christians now totally not interested

in truth because it fits their M-O,

it's just saddening.

So the gnome is a forest creature who's

humanoid in nature and he looks smart but he's kind of dumb.

And the badgers, they're very natural and nurturing,

but if you don't agree with them, they will savage you.

But the thing about my gnomes and badgers is

in their forest, they have rules,

and the rule is that you're always respectful,

you're always civil, and you always use critical thinking.

And the cool thing is you really don't have to

have an argument that can't be resolved

because you do have social media.

You just have to be smart enough to actually look for

the differing opinion.

If you spend the same amount of time

trying to prove yourself wrong

as trying to prove yourself right,

you'll figure things out.

♪ I don't care you're not like me ♪

♪ You should go home

I was filling some sessions in LA

through a couple of friends and I walked in one day

and Lenny Kravitz was playing bass.

And so we did horns on that stuff,

and then like maybe six months later, a year later,

Lenny called us out to start working on Let Love Rule .

So I was the first member of that band.

It was groundbreaking.

♪ What I wanna see and it's only me ♪

Me and Lenny stayed in touch over the years

and I left his band in '93.

In 2014, I get a random call and from a restricted number

and I didn't answer it, and then they called back

like an hour later so I pick up the phone and it's Lenny,

and he's like, "Hey, I got somebody that needs a sax player

"to go on the road."

And I was like "Uh, I'm kinda burnt just doin' my thing

"and I need to rest now."

And he goes, "I think you might wanna check this one out."

And he offers me The Rolling Stones gig.

♪ I got to change my way

♪ Come on, come on

People asked all the time, like,

"What's it like playing for 65,000?"

I go, "I'm playing for four people."

When you see the start of the show and,

"Ladies and gentleman, The Rolling Stones",

I am right by the monitor board watching the thing start

because it still blows my mind 'cause I'm just trying

to make them happy.

If I get Keith, while I'm playing a solo,

to look over and smile, then that's made my night.

It's probably more rewarding for me when I'm playing

a 500, 600 seater and it's raging with my band,

because it's my music so it's more satisfying.

(upbeat funk music)

♪ Just got to Austin when I got the news ♪

♪ So tired and hungry, don't know which to choose ♪

♪ Watcha think sister give me some advice ♪

♪ She took off her shades so I could see her eyes ♪

♪ Everybody

♪ Acting like this is something new ♪

♪ But data's rising all around

♪ You better find some solid ground ♪

♪ Kneeling, kneeling, kneeling all I can say ♪

♪ (All I can say)

♪ You think it's time to win but I think it's time to pray ♪

♪ I wandered a bit my bags weigh me down ♪

♪ Ran into Shira, I was in her town ♪

♪ Wine and conversation catching up ♪

♪ Like communion from a paper cup ♪

♪ Everybody

♪ There's always a different point of view ♪

♪ The tide is gonna pull you down ♪

♪ Until you find some solid ground ♪

♪ Kneeling, kneeling, kneeling all I can say ♪

♪ (All I can say)

♪ You think it's time to win I think it's time to pray ♪

♪ Let me tell you one more time ♪

♪ Kneeling, kneeling, kneeling there's no other way ♪

♪ (No other way)

♪ You think it's time to win but I think it's time to pray ♪

(audience cheering)

♪ I'm going to heaven now don't be mad ♪

♪ 'Cause most folks think it's just a fad ♪

♪ Took most of my cues from old Mink in jail ♪

♪ Just shy of the mark but he blazed the trail ♪

♪ Everybody

♪ There's always a different point of view ♪

♪ The tide is gonna pull you down ♪

♪ Until you find some solid ground ♪

♪ Kneeling, kneeling, kneeling all I can say ♪

♪ (All I can say)

♪ You think it's time to win but I think it's time to pray ♪

♪ Kneeling, kneeling, kneeling there's no other way ♪

♪ (No other way)

♪ You think it's time to win but I think it's time to pray ♪

♪ Let me tell you one more time ♪

♪ Kneeling, kneeling, kneeling there's no other way ♪

♪ (No other way)

♪ You think it's time to win but I think it's time to pray ♪

♪ Time to pray, time to pray

♪ Time to pray, time to pray

♪ I think it's time to pray

♪ You think it's time to win but I think it's time to pray ♪

♪ You think it's time to win but I think it's time to pray ♪

(audience cheering)

(funk music)

♪ I thank you for my party little baby girl ♪

♪ Yeah you kept your promise you really rocked my world ♪

♪ But now we're on the always sleeping eye to eye ♪

♪ You got to know your lovin' keeps me satisfied ♪

♪ I learnt so much about what it really means ♪

♪ I'm flowing deep inside you it cultivates my chi ♪

♪ What a time to tell what a wicked pace ♪

♪ What a strange expression always on my face ♪

♪ I don't know what it is but it's what you got ♪

♪ Ooh I'm gonna like it more than just a lot ♪

♪ Baby your lovin' keeps me satisfied ♪

♪ Groovin' me so hard and I don't know why ♪

♪ But it's such a simple way to get me high ♪

♪ Baby your loving keeps me satisfied ♪

♪ Never mind the history or the times we disagree ♪

♪ It's only meant to give our love its urgency ♪

♪ It must be hard to be a star you're a superstar ♪

♪ Farzim prays for you among Eulipions ♪

♪ Always, always dance with me

♪ Well I won't do

♪ Bringing out the hype in me ♪

♪ So, so satisfied I'm so satisfied ♪

♪ So, so satisfied I'm so satisfied ♪

(audience cheering)

(funk music)

♪ I learnt so much about what it really means ♪

♪ I'm flowing deep inside you it cultivates my chi ♪

♪ What a time to tell what a wicked pace ♪

♪ What a strange expression always on my face ♪

♪ Always on my face

♪ I don't know what it is but it's what you got ♪

♪ Ooh I'm gonna like it more than just a lot ♪

♪ Baby your lovin' keeps me satisfied ♪

♪ Groovin' me so hard and I don't know why ♪

♪ But it's such a simple way to get me high ♪

♪ Baby your lovin' keeps me satisfied ♪

♪ Nevermind the history all the times we disagree ♪

♪ It's only meant to give our love its urgency ♪

♪ It must be hard to be a star you're a superstar ♪

♪ Farzim prays for you among Eulipions ♪

♪ Always dance with me

♪ Oh what I wanna do

♪ I'm bringing out the hype in me ♪

♪ Hey

♪ Always dance with me

♪ What I wanna do

♪ I'm bringing out the hype in me ♪

♪ So, so satisfied I'm so satisfied ♪

♪ So, so satisfied I'm so satisfied ♪

♪ So, so satisfied I'm so satisfied ♪

♪ So, so satisfied I'm so satisfied ♪

♪ So, so satisfied I'm so satisfied ♪

♪ So, so, so satisfied

♪ So, so satisfied I'm so satisfied ♪

(cheers and applause)

♪ One, two, three, four

(funk music)

♪ People trying to tell me

♪ That you are messing up on me ♪

♪ The people trying to tell me

♪ That I'm too blind to see

♪ But I don't really believe what the people say ♪

♪ But I got to mash up on ya

♪ I got to mash up on ya

♪ I got to mash up on ya

♪ Got to mash up on ya anyway

♪ The gossip I hear is startin' to get the best of me ♪

♪ I wonder are the people right ♪

♪ When they say I'm too blind to see ♪

♪ I wonder are the people right ♪

♪ When they say I'm too blind to see ♪

♪ I'm gonna ask my guitar man

♪ Because I know that he understands ♪

♪ We're gonna play it real funky ♪

♪ He's gonna play it real funky ♪

♪ The gossip I hear is startin' to get the best of me ♪

(audience cheering)

♪ I wonder are the people right ♪

♪ When they say I'm too blind to see ♪

♪ I wonder are the people right ♪

♪ When they say I'm too blind to see ♪

♪ I'm gonna ask my guitar man

♪ Because I know that he understands ♪

♪ We're gonna play it real funky ♪

♪ He's gonna play it real funky ♪

♪ Funky, funky, funky, funky, funky ♪

♪ He's gonna play it real funky, y'all ♪

♪ Gonna play it real funky

♪ Funky, funky, funky, funky, funky ♪

(audience cheering)

KARL: Thank you so much.

(funk music)

♪ Careless in our summer clothes splashing around ♪

♪ In the muck and the mire ♪

♪ Careless in our summer clothes splashing around ♪

♪ In the muck and the mire ♪

♪ Fell asleep with stains

♪ Cake deep in the knees

♪ What a pain

♪ So hang me up to dry

♪ You wrung me out

♪ Too, too many times

♪ So hang me up to dry

♪ I'm pearly white like the whites of your eyes, DJ ♪

♪ All mixed up in the wash

♪ Hot water bleeding our colors ♪

♪ All mixed up in the wash

♪ Hot water bleeding our colors ♪

♪ So hang me up to dry

♪ You wrung me out too, too many times ♪

♪ So hang me up to dry

♪ I'm pearly white like the whites of your eyes, DJ ♪

♪ So hang me up to dry

♪ You wrung me out too, too many times ♪

♪ So hang me up to dry

♪ I'm pearly white like the whites of your eyes ♪

♪ So hang me up to dry

♪ You wrung me out too many times ♪

♪ So hang me up to dry

(audience cheering)

♪ I'm pearly white like the whites of your eyes ♪

(audience cheering)

ANNOUNCER: Funding for this program was provided by

Whelen Engineering Company.

Whelen is a proud sponsor of The Kate

and wishes to voice its ongoing support for

Connecticut Public Television,

the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center

and the Michael J. Fox Foundation

for Parkinson's Research.

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