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)

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records | Style: Fringes of Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1" CD/LP/Track Review Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "I'll Be Seeing You" CD/LP/Track Review I'll Be Seeing You
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "Steelonious" CD/LP/Track Review Steelonious
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Spark" CD/LP/Track Review Spark
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 1, 2016
Read "Gin Fizz Fandango" CD/LP/Track Review Gin Fizz Fandango
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 20, 2016
Read "Suite Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Suite Ellington
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!