333

Happy Apple: The Peace Between Our Companies

By

Sign in to view read count
Happy Apple: The Peace Between Our Companies Minneapolis-based Happy Apple is big in the Midwestern United States and Europe—the rest of the world, particularly other parts of America, is sadly still sleeping on the powerful jazz/rock/improv group. Featuring bassist Erik Fratzke, David King (who also handles percussion duties in Happy Apple cohorts and Columbia Records recording artists The Bad Plus) and Michael Lewis on saxophones, Happy Apple is currently celebrating the release of its sixth album, The Peace Between Our Companies.

The trio of Fratzke, King and Lewis combine freewheeling improvisation with highly stylized composition and rock 'n' roll-meets-jazz sensibilities. The eight tracks which make up The Peace range from driving punk-jazz to spacey, atmospheric electric relaxations, highlighting the underrated trio's range of talents.

The thirteen-minute "See Sun Spot Run"? is the centerpiece of this off-the-wall album. Clocking in at just over twelve minutes, this lengthy selection finds the band members mulling over idiosyncratic ideas within a thin, detached framework, a seemingly open-sounding and sparse arrangement that sounds rather free but is likely based on a more strict form.

"Lets Not Reflect"? is the jazziest selection on this record, a great example of the free bop influence on Happy Apple's sound. Featuring a laid back cross-stick pattern from King and thick bass chords from Fratzke, "Lets Not Reflect"? almost swings in its groove—almost.

Amazing transitions appear throughout "The Peace."? The dreamy introspection of "Ella by Nightlight,"? which features Lewis playing thoughtfully chosen lyrical melodies, is followed by the driving, rhythmic punk 'n' jazz of "Go (Base 13),"? a dramatic closer to The Peace Between Our Companies. And somehow these two completely opposite sounds don't seem to clash when they appear back to back on one album—instead, they highlight the aforementioned breadth of Fratzke, King, and Lewis' skill.

There must be something in the Midwestern water system. Happy Apple seem to be vibing on the same idea that Thrill Jockey artists like Tortoise and Sam Prekop enjoy, or Rob Mazurek in his countless Chicago Underground projects, or even to some extent the musings of Ken Vandermark and his comrades.


Track Listing: 1. Starchild cranium 2. Freelance robotics 3. Paulie's quick temper has gotten him into a few jams 4. Let's not reflect 5. Dojo fantastique 6. See sun spot run 7. Ella by nightlight 8. Go base 13

Personnel: David King (d); Erik Fratzke (b); Michael Lewis (sax)

Title: The Peace Between Our Companies | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Good Merlin CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Resting in a Fold of the Fog" CD/LP/Track Review Resting in a Fold of the Fog
by John Eyles
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "Music of Weather Report" CD/LP/Track Review Music of Weather Report
by John Ephland
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People" CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read "Now Hear This!" CD/LP/Track Review Now Hear This!
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "Pastures" CD/LP/Track Review Pastures
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Because I Love You" CD/LP/Track Review Because I Love You
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 12, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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