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Youth Oriented

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Album Review

The Minneapolis, MN-based trio's fifth outing features more of the musicians' playful, rebellious spirit and enterprising methodologies, as the Youth Oriented motif is depicted in cartoonish fashion within the CD booklet. In addition, the artists' unique sound, consisting of alternative jazz-rock musings, has already spawned a rash of imitators within the modern jazz circuit. Nevertheless, the trio surges onward with more power-packed rock beats and flashy time changes. Notions of a Sonic Youth-type jazz outfit come to mind. Here, multi-reedman Michael Lewis solos above electric bassist Erik Fratzke's booming yet noticeably limber patterns and drummer David King's brawny rhythmic endeavors. The band tempers the flow on pieces such as "The Landfall Planetarium," where King injects some hazy Mellotron voicings into the mix, translating into a slightly humorous effect. But they frequently up the ante, due to their gritty discourses amid elements of soul and chutzpah. Many of these works feature gradually climactic opuses and searing exchanges. Hence, a charismatic lot, with a nouveau approach to jazz music in general as this band traverses the road less traveled. Recommended.

Customer Reviews

Hidden Treasures

There is so much good material on this album, and all original. This is one of those bands that makes music for the love of it, and what comes out is something very special. If you like music that is more than any category, get this.


Happy Apple is amazing. The freedom without dissolution is impeccable. I just realized that this is the same album cover as the britney spears album britney. That one isn't worth getting btw.


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Named after a child's toy from the 1960s, jazz trio Happy Apple was formed in Minneapolis, MN, in 1996 by saxophonist Michael Lewis and drummer David King, with bassist Erik Fratzke joining soon after. Their clever and melodic small-combo improvisations have been termed "jazz punk," but Happy Apple has a grasp of the entire history of jazz, and the trio's elegant free-bop compositions are full of haunting melodies, delightful flashes of humor, and intelligent, coherent construction. Led by Lewis'...
Full Bio
Youth Oriented, Happy Apple
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Rock
  • Released: Jan 21, 2003

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