BEST JAZZ ARTIST - 2000
Skeptics insist that if Happy Apple drummer Dave King weren't such a talented between-song yapper (his monologues are more Spalding Gray than Lester Young) and enthusiastic networker (he plays in 543 other bands) or if Apple--music aside--didn't look and act so hip and hop (stocking caps, anyone?), then few beyond a circle of connoisseurs would give a rat's modal scale about them. Thing is, that "music aside" is a pretty goddamn big aside, especially when said tunes not only put rock-trained audiences on seat's edge, concert after concert, but also raise the neck hair of John Zorn, among many others. HA (the most appropriate acronym imaginable, given King's famous flippancy) fill their sophomore album, Body Popping, Moon Walking, Top Rocking (No Alternative), with thoroughly felt melodigrooves--that's a needed coinage--and just as thoroughly felt nonmelodic nongrooves, with Erik Fratzke's bass bobbing, and Michael Lewis's sax weaving. Yinning their yen for fusion with a punkish rock yang, this band has been generating more outsider interest and excitement in the old, proud, and sadly unsung Twin Cities jazz scene than any esteemed veteran.