Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe – Brother’s Keeper (2009)

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe - Brother's Keeper (2009)
Artist: Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
Album: Brother’s Keeper
Genre: Jazz-Funk / Fusion
Origin: USA
Released: 2009
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Shake It Out 03:41
Where It Counts 03:59
The Drums Of War 05:22
Brother’s Keeper (Part 1) 04:23
Brother’s Keeper (Part 2) 03:29
Mighty Rebel 06:17
Monica 03:53
Expressions 03:46
Empty Soul 03:54
Take It Down 05:38
Just Got Paid 04:23


I was a little depressed after listening Brother’s Keeper, the latest CD by Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. That’s probably not what Brother Denson wants to see as the first line in a music review about his album. He’ll be relieved to learn that my blue state of mind has nothing to do with the quality of the music on Brother’s Keeper. This 11 track record is excellent. It is one of the best records – beginning to end – that I’ve heard all year.

In a way, it can be said that Denson’s music was the source of my depression. I’m listening to this CD, and thinking that the world needs to hear this mixture of southern soul, funk and modern R&B. However, I’m not sure that Brother’s Keeper will have the kind of saturation that some major label release that is not nearly as good will have.

One of the frustrating things about being a fan of indie soul is the lack of musical curiosity of many of the people who spend so much time lamenting the state of the music they hear on the radio. I’m touting artists like Denson and scores of others who are making soul music that is both classic and right now, and people are looking at me like I’m speaking Farsi. That’s rather go on listening to their Harold Melvin & the Blue Note records even as Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe gives them a right now version of the Philly Sound with the track “Brothers’ Keeper Pt. 1.”

Eventually, I have to come to the realization that I have to check myself about taking this so personally. This, after all, is just one man’s opinion and I’m not even a musician.

And I admit that I was inclined to like Brother’s Keeper because I’m a funk and soul guy. The band would have had to mess really bad for me to hit fast forward. But it was clear after the first two tunes – the jumping Southern soul joint “Shake it Out” and the ultra funky bit of Cali jam “Where It Counts” – that Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe knew what they were doing. The band jammed its collective foot on the gas and never really let up.

“Drums of War” is a funky anthem that laments the fact that our world is rife with religious intolerance. “Mighty Rebel” stays in the spiritual realm with the band using a reggae beat on a song that reminds listeners that Jesus was and is the ultimate rebel.

The band slows it down on the mid-tempo tune “Monica” which tells the story of an ill-fated love affair. However, the group takes it to another level when they slow it down on the blue light ballad “Take It Down.” This is the one you want playing when you get that finally get that moment with your lady. And just to show that the band can also run with the youngsters, the album ends with the ultra-modern and radio friendly “Just Got Paid.”

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe should have dropped Brother’s Keeper in the beginning of the summer instead of at the end because this something for everyone CD has cookout music written all over it. Highly Recommended
By Howard Dukes

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