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Happy Apple

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Happy Apple is an American jazz trio.

Formed in 1996 in Minneapolis, members of the band are David King (drums), Michael Lewis (saxophones) and Erik Fratzke (electric bass).

All three members compose music for the group; which places equal emphasis on improvisation. Happy Apple plays a unique brand of jazz music, drawing on several other genres. Their music is a fine and wholly representative effort, steeped in free-jazz abandon, laced with complexity, and conversant with Minneapolis’ punk and indie-rock heritage. King refers to the music’s “crunchy, dark-tinged underbelly,” a “core of down-homey, Midwestern spatial blues that seems to attach itself to every tune.”

The group’s members play in other bands ranging from indie rock and heavy metal to free jazz and electronic. The best known of these is The Bad Plus, in which King also plays drums. Other bands include Fat Kid Wednesdays, Halloween, Alaska, Buffalo Collision,The Gang Font, Dosh and multiple others.

They have released six studio albums to date, as well as a limited-edition 3-disc live set. They have allegedly appeared in bars, theaters, jazz clubs, rock clubs, school auditoriums, cafeterias, bakeries, museums, mini-marts, hockey venues, airport lounges and correctional facilities.

Their name comes from a Fisher-Price toy from the sixties, which King often uses as an auxiliary percussion instrument.

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