Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
147

Happy Apple: Body Popping - Moon Walking - Top Rocking

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count Views
Happy Apple: Body Popping - Moon Walking - Top Rocking “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. Body Popping – Moon Walking –Top Rocking is engagingly hip, charmingly boisterous and loads of fun! Recommended! * * * *

Visit Happy Apple at www.liberationmob.com

No Alternative Records web: www.noalternative.com

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

Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: No Alternative Records


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Happy Apple Back on Top
Happy Apple Back on...
Sunnyside Records
2008
buy
[no cover]
Happy Apple Back On...
Universal
2007
buy
The Peace Between Our Companies
The Peace Between Our...
Sunnyside Records
2005
buy
[no cover]
The Peace Between Our...
Universal
2004
buy
Youth Oriented
Youth Oriented
Sunnyside Records
2003
buy
[no cover]
Youth Oriented
Universal
2002
buy
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
saxophone
John Scofield John Scofield
guitar
Brad Mehldau Brad Mehldau
piano
McCoy Tyner McCoy Tyner
piano
The Bad Plus The Bad Plus
band/orchestra

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.