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From the first note to the last, the Karl Denson Trio rocked Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom Saturday night. There are few fine musicians in this world whose fans can generally agree that the artist is better every time they step on stage -- and Denson is one of those artists.

Denson is a sax man who got his start backing up Lenny Kravitz. He moved on to the Greyboy Allstars before forming his own band, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe. Nowadays he's touring with a trio.

Trios generally aren't my favorite format. They usually leave me feeling that something is missing: vocals, a guitar, a bass, whatever. As a result, I almost passed up on the show, in which Denson was scheduled to share the stage with just a drummer and a keyboard player. But my dedication to Denson motivated me to get down to Cervantes', and it was well worth the trip.

After Saturday night, Denson remains at the top of my list of musicians who are always improving. Next time he comes through town, I'll be there again, even if he's playing solo.

And he'll probably be better again. -- Luke Turf

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.