TOO NOISY FISH
Furious Empathic Silence
(2019 - Igloo Records - Belgium)
A trio who with their third release, again using an acronym for FES as their title (they have used a different set of 3 words on each release to create the obvious respect for Flat Earth Society, where they all have been, or are, members of), with even broader horizons, it is not their usual pace that it starts with. Neither can you expect to know what is to come with each composition. 'Furious Empathic Silence' introduces a haunting, nearly crawling atmosphere in the first two tracks, 'FID (Fredryck in Doubt)' and 'FSS (Fiercely Shaken not Stirred)' throw the listener a solemn curve, only to get a dose of energetic jazz delight in the 8:51 'FUQ (Frequently Unanswered Questions)'. With plenty of surge and retreat, this cut happily marries the two opposing moods that are so tastefully arranged throughout the album.
As soon as a person settles in on a tune, they get scurried away into another tempo and frame of mind. Too Noisy Fish have another spectacular recording here. Some may at times hear a contemplative ECM sound and certainly one could imagine some influences from Jaga Jazzist, both due to striking elements of avant jazz and the very cool electronica percussive addition, from master drummer and percussionist Teun Verbruggen. However the compositions on this new release are of a relatively less hyper nature than the Jaga Jazzist, as a point to verify. Teun has done quite a lot of the experimental electronica in some of his solo work already, so the extension to this band is natural for him. The supremely crafted and executed acoustic piano is the foundation (and Peter Vandenberghe/piano, did compose everything except 'Aerobatology' - by the bassist Kristof Roseeuw, and a cover by Missy Elliot and Rich Harrison called 'Can't Stop') on much of the music.
Always with a top notch performance and innovative approach to the jazz idiom, Too Noisy Fish are as tight and well oiled as any group can be. How much better can they get? That cannot be answered. Not yet that is. Let us hope they are not done. The vast experience and former band involvement of these three musicians is notable (see my review of their debut release 'Fast Easy Sick'). This band continues to go new places with their music, and this third one displays a Jekyll & Hyde personality. Another brave and attention grabbing creation. RECOMMENDED.
© Reviewed by Lee Henderson 2 - 2 - 2019