All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Happy Apple: Body Popping - Moon Walking - Top Rocking

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
“Happy Apple” is a Minneapolis based modern jazz trio featuring multi-reedman Michael Lewis, drummer David King and electric bassist Erik Fratzke. On Body Popping - Moon Walking – Top Rocking the band articulate somewhat of a blood and guts approach. With the lengthy opener titled “The Barstow Sizzler” the trio advance through subtle microtonal passages while concurrently working the free-jazz side of the spectrum and exploring delicate themes, yet climactically pick up steam via rollicking and downright explosive interplay. Hard funk/free-bop/jazz prevails throughout, as the band’s imperious sense of verve and pulse pay huge dividends! Saxophonist Michael Lewis generally spearheads the often turbulent and circuitous paths atop a heavy and thoroughly vibrant bottom on compositions such as “Marvin Says”. Here, fender bassist Erik Fratzke shows his impressive chops with a blistering and impossibly fast solo as David King supplies the crisp drumming along with a shrewd flair for dynamics and flinging African-style tom fills. The name of the game is something like – keep things on the upswing yet don’t allow the listener to become complacent. With “Marvin Says”, Lewis extrapolates airy, complex and predominately fluid lines through his soprano sax while spurring the band into some extracurricular activities!

The musicians take a much needed rest on the affable yet somewhat uneventful soul-blues ballad, “Where Does A Stranger Go On Christmas Eve” yet come back revitalized and vengeful on the post-Bop/Funk piece, ”The Express Lane Really Isn’t All That Fast”. Throughout all of the sweeping choruses and punchy rhythms Lewis and Fratzke pursue tasty yet expertly executed unison lines while Lewis also exhibits his skillful employment of extended breathing techniques - from top to bottom.

Happy Apple is a band with a firmly rooted mission in mind as they pursue the - “new jazz” way of thinking - which for all intents and purposes is a fairly open-ended conceptual proposition. Therefore, Body Popping – Moon Walking –Top Rocking is engagingly hip, charmingly boisterous and loads of fun! Recommended! * * * *

Personnel: Erik Fratzke; Fender Bass: David King; Drums, Cymbals & Waterphone: Michael Lewis; Soprano, Alto & Tenor Saxophones.

Title: Body Popping - Moon Walking - Top Rocking | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: No Alternative Records


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow CD/LP/Track Review
Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Transatlantic CD/LP/Track Review
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Criss Cross CD/LP/Track Review
Criss Cross
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 22, 2018
Read So Far CD/LP/Track Review
So Far
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Wherever You're Starting From CD/LP/Track Review
Wherever You're Starting From
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery CD/LP/Track Review
Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 21, 2018
Read "Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Rags And Roots" CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House" CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "From a Familiar Place" CD/LP/Track Review From a Familiar Place
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 23, 2017
Read "Provenance" CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 11, 2017
Read "Murphy" CD/LP/Track Review Murphy
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 18, 2017