Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe: The Bridge

Put Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe’s The Bridge (Relaxed) into your CD player and you’ll be unable to sit still. Led by saxophonist/vocalist and former Lenny Kravitz band member Karl Denson-and augmented by a who’s who of guest artists, including Dr. Lonnie Smith, Roy Hargrove, Fred Wesley, Chris Wood and Fareed Hague-the jam band plays a free spirited blend of jazz, funk, rock, and R&B with grooves so infectious they can’t fail to get you up and moving.

Free-flowing horns meet scorching rock guitar on “How Fine is That,” while the slow-burning “Groove On” features a hypnotic, repetitive bass rhythm. Denson give his sitar-accented cover of Curtis Mayfield’s “Check Out Your Mind’ and Eastern flavor, and the organ-spiced “The Answer” features conscious rap lyrics performed by poet Saul Williams and Spearhead frontman Michael Franti. The album ends on a particularly lively note; with its irresistible funk groove and trumpeting by Hargrove and Hugh Ragin, the closing track “Elephants” conjure up some of the funkiest pachyderms you ever heard.