Happy Apple

Tuesday, May 19

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 don’t know, being able to play “Giant Steps”? Any drunk drummer can pull off “punk-rock energy,” but to do it in a way that’s intelligent, unforced, and earned, that’s another thing altogether. And that’s 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 band’s same controlled abandon—but with sax instead of piano, and electric bass instead of acoustic. It’s driving, impulsive, and wry, touching on everything from 60s free jazz to TV jingles. Punks may like it, but luckily it’s got more to recommend it than that. Photo courtesy Michael Dvorak.

Tue., May 19, 8 p.m., 2009

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