Happy Apple comes to Appleton

Miller, Owen

This Sunday, the one-of-a-kind jazz trio Happy Apple will return to Lawrence.The group, headed by eccentric saxophonist Michael Lewis, combines different concepts from jazz, pop, rock, hip-hop, and classical music in a unique and captivating way. Sometimes categorized in the genre that they created, “College Jazz,” the trio has forged their own instantly recognizable sound.

Bassist Erik Fratzke and drummer David King each bring a unique feel and flavor to the trio. Fratzke is especially fond of doom-metal bands, while King currently plays in the remarkable jazz trio The Bad Plus. Just like Michael Lewis, both are monsters at what they do. They really bomp-shizzle the mizzle.

Happy Apple has released five studio-recorded albums, a three-disk live set, and has toured in the U.S. and Europe. Their albums have received critical acclaim from many top jazz sources, including Downbeat, JazzTimes, Billboard, JazzWeek, and All Music Guide.

Founded in 1996 in Minneapolis, the group has struggled at times to get their sound out to a listening audience. From the “backwaters” of jazz, they have defined their own unique sound through the many influences that their members cite. Paul Abella of All About Jazz says this about the virtuosic trio: “[Happy Apple] takes John Coltrane’s fire, Jaco Pastorious’ low note gymnastics, and P-Funk’s penchant for a whacked-out good time, and throw it all in a blender… and the concoction is intoxicating.”

Happy Apple plays at 8:00 p.m. in the Coffeehouse. Be there.