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The Bridge

17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 20, 2002
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$8.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Saxophonist Karl Denson makes no bones about the fact that he plays a funky jazz tailor-made for people to get their groove on--and never more so than on The Bridge, an album that strays far from his jazz roots. Already known for his love affair with funk, both as a solo artist and as a member of the Greyboy Allstars, Denson adds some other interesting nonjazz wrinkles. A strong Afro-beat influence manifests itself in some slamming horn charts and percolating rhythms, particularly on "Elephants" and "Because of Her Beauty." Denson gets soulful on Curtis Mayfield's "Check Out Your Mind," doing a passable job with the vocals (several tunes here feature Denson singing) and embellishing it with sitar and surreal psychedelic production touches. The album also benefits from a hot production job from Erik Newsome, who captures the nearly rock & roll energy and intensity of the KDTU live experience. This is definitely one for the fans who like it when Denson does his high-energy groove thing. --Tad Hendrickson

1. How Fine Is That
2. Because Of Her Beauty
3. The Answer
4. Bunny Playa
5. Freedom
6. Check Out Your Mind
7. Satisfied
8. The Bridge
9. Groove On
10. Rise And Shine
11. Elephants

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 20, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Relaxed Records
  • ASIN: B00006EXEH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,825 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By loce_the_wizard VINE VOICE on February 14, 2003
Format: Audio CD
"The Bridge" by Karl Denson's Tiny Universe crackles with energy and verve, meshing funk, jazz, and rock and infusing the mix with a rousing array of instruments, beats, and effects. If, for a moment, Mr. Denson's saxophone seems almost like something from a triple-z jazz (the light stuff) session, don't worry, for in the next instance he is chasing down a Sonny Rollins or Coltrane riff with abandon.
The excellent, tasty funk guitar from Brian Jordan demands attention without resorting to gimmicks; the bass lines from Ron Johnson center the songs; David Veith knows his way around keyboards, especially the organ; and the percussion and drums unit of Zak Najor and Mike Dillion propel these songs along.
The horns, however, are the front and center attraction, and Chris Littlefield's trumpet is a nice counterpoint to Mr. Denson's sax and flute. Guest players augment the core lineup on every track, offering density and depth. At times, I think I hear echoes of Gil Scott-Heron here.
(Really, the person who uses the moniker Bostonears has already sized up this CD so well, I refer you to this review).
One weak spot are some of the lyrics, which can be preachy at times. For example, it's not exactly clear what is meant by "But what is freedom . . . when it comes at a cost?" After all, we must all pay the price of freedom. But rather than take issue with some of the lyrics and innuendos, I leave that for the individual listener. I find I can still enjoy the music without buying into any sort of social message.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 21, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I can not stop listening to this cd. The tunes are so grooving and the recording so impeccable that I have been forced by the mothership to write a review on amazon.com. The Tiny Universe may be the best funk machine traveling the planet right now, and Karl Denson is confidently at the controls. The tunes on this cd are infectious groove laden slices of neo-funk that drip and ooze Karl's signature songwriting and horn lines. Every musician on this cd is given room to stretch out and express themselves. Thought provoking, feet moving solos abound. And did I mention groove? Hip Hop, Jazz, Funk, Rock & World Beat all are woven together to create an organic bubbling stew. I can not recommend this cd highly enough.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bostonears on January 20, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first heard this group via its performance of "Elephants" on a video of the 2002 JVC Newport Jazz Festival, and I decided this disc was a must buy. The music here clearly isn't for everyone, and some listeners will no doubt dismiss it as junk food funk. But to my ears, The Bridge by Karl Denson's Tiny Universe is funky soul food.
The lyrics range from party-girl grooves to downright poetic social commentary. (It's no accident that the lyrics from only two tunes, "Freedom" and "The Bridge" are reprinted in the liner notes.) Denson's vocal delivery on "The Bridge" is just dripping with hipness.
The instrumentation migrates from the sizzling horn solos of "Freedom", through the burning bass on Curtis Mayfield's "Check Out Your Mind", to the flying flute of "Satisfied", culminating with the blistering beat of the instrumental "Elephants." Point your speakers out the window, crank this last tune, and even the corpses in the nearby cemetery will be tapping their feet to the beat.
Throughout the disc, the arrangements are all slightly off-kilter, in a positive way, enough to prevent monotony and keep things interesting, but not so much as to devolve into jazz noise. About the only nit I can pick with The Bridge is that the sound quality is distorted and boomy in the mid-bass, which muddies up the mix. But never mind. The Bridge isn't intended for pristine audiophile listening. It's the ultimate dance party disc, and it absolutely cooks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 3, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I wish that I could categorize this is as jazz or R&B but it combines the best of both musical worlds. Karl Denson has put together a collection of songs that are inspired by old school R&B guys with great sax solo's inspired by the likes of John Coltrane. It's really that good. The songs are fun to listen to and while they have that 60's and 70's charm, they are also refreshing and new. It's as if you were to discover an album from thirty years ago that you never listened to. This is the best cd I've heard in years. If you like funk, R&B, and jazz, this has it all for you. Buy it now!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James D. Yates on November 6, 2003
Format: Audio CD
After purchasing "The Bridge" while listening to "How Fine Is That"(The cut was still playing!!) I actually stopped traffic when I saw a flyer announcing they were going to be in my home town of Ann Arbor, Mi.
After pulling a few strings so I could take off work I HAD to see them live. Needless to say I'm a member of the legions of fans that'll follow them wherever they play!
I grew up listening to Tower of Power, Sly & The Family Stone, War, Earth, Wind & Fire, just to name a few..and have seen them in concert...let me tell those who haven't seen Karl..they're right there in the pocket..one of the most energetic live performances I've seen in YEARS!! Two days later I'm still hoarse from cheering, yelling and partying..these guys aren't live...they're A-live!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By johnee on April 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Blown away!!! THE best thing on the block!!!!
totaly unique,...found this gem of a talent by freak coincidence,i have always found my best stuff by spontinaety .
Here in uk except for specialized "jazz watchers" Denson is easy to miss to the untrained eye,but found dance lesson played it and the rest is history!!!!!
I an wishing i had enough money to entice Karl Denson and his band over to gig in the uk!!!spread the gospel this man does for this muzak genre what Donny hathaway does for soul
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