Karl Denson: Saxophone | Anthony Smith: Keyboards

Genre: Jazz, Reggae & Ska, Rock

RIYL: Greyboy Allstars, Lenny Kravitz, Tiny Universe

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The Karl Denson Trio, aka KD3, is a Denson side project that took them to the Blue Note in New York and some of the bigger jazz festivals around the country.

Saxophonist Denson bridges fusion jazz and R&B soul with progressive freak rock like the music of Frank Zappa. He played sax with Lenny Kravitz's band, and he and DJ Greyboy came to local prominence with the Greyboy All Stars, formed in 1997.

His band Karl Denson's Tiny Universe sometimes performs and records as a sextet and sometimes as a trio. Onstage, Denson often doesn’t stray too far from the James Brown and George Clinton templates, but his records are a different story.

Some may remember KD3 keyboardist/vibe player Anthony Smith (the Mighty Untouchables) in Giant People, a band that actually started in San Diego in the late 1990s and that ultimately toured the country. “When I broke away from them, I started Global Funk Council. We did 200-plus shows a year around the country.” He says the advice to tour incessantly came from a member of the String Cheese Incident. “That was quite insane.”

In 2012, at the age of 43, Smith wrote and released a book about his life in the music biz, The Lizard Stays in the Cage. “I jump around. The thread is my life in the arts, the decision to go down the right brain path and to stick to my creative guns.”


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