Critics who rave about bands for bringing punk-rock energy to jazz always give me a migraine. I mean, is that really such a hard thing to bring off? Is that a musical accomplishment to rival, oh, I dont know, being able to play Giant Steps? Any drunk drummer can pull off punk-rock energy, but to do it in a way thats intelligent, unforced, and earned, thats another thing altogether. And thats where Happy Apple offers a happy example. David King was drumming in this Minneapolis trio well before he hit it big with The Bad Plus, and his group has some of that bands same controlled abandonbut with sax instead of piano, and electric bass instead of acoustic. Its driving, impulsive, and wry, touching on everything from 60s free jazz to TV jingles. Punks may like it, but luckily its got more to recommend it than that. Photo courtesy Michael Dvorak.