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Too Noisy Fish
Fast Easy Sick
(2011 - Rat Records  - Belgium)


From the very first few counts of this CD, you can tell you are in for an adventurous listen. Almost standard acoustic piano, but then with intrusive drums jumping in and out, and gracefully the upright bass comes in to carry the tune into the avant free jazz semi bebop gem it is. No sooner than a climax, then back to the initial slow pacing part, just waiting to dart back into something else. But what? It’s like the jolly green giant, stomping along towards the destiny. Such brilliant playing on all parts. With the first theme stated, revisited again, and then again, the composition ends with a flutter. It is some way to begin this superior exercise in modern avant jazz with classical and rock tones, plus plenty of creative juices flowing. The 2nd song comes along like a rogue tidal wave as well. Supreme!

‘Fast Easy Sick’ is the freshman release by this rhythm section for another tilting, thrilling and famous avant garde big band jazz group called Flat Earth Society. Do you see the title which notes FES? It’s no shock that Too Noisy Fish have a clear winner and product of their own here. Just a three piece comprising of Peter Vandenberghe: piano/compositions (Flat Earth Society, X-Legged Sally, Univers Zero, Caca, Monsoon), Kristof Roseeuw: double bass (Flat Earth Society, RadioKUKAorkest, Fukkeduk, Spectra ensemble), and Teun Verbruggen: drums (Flat Earth Society, Jef Neve, Toots Thielemans, Otin Spake, Gowk, VVG Trio, Christian Mendoza Group), this work is as strong and full of life as any trio I have ever heard. To top it off, the release was mixed , mastered and produced by the one and only Pierre Vervloesem (X-Legged Sally).

‘Fast Easy Sick’ is full of complex, high in the sky, magic interplay and free forward thinking collisions of compositional contradictions and compliments. Sometimes casting a wry sense of humor, the music reels in one noisy fish after another. And there are tunes like track 5 (‘Bread? Shade! She? Me... ‘) that begin with ECM-like classical keys (brings to mind Rainer Bruninghaus on piano) with cymbal swells, mallets on drums, and a beautiful crescendo to kill for, then a mechanical whiz of a Henry-Cow-would-be-proud, avant garde ending. The next composition ‘Fish That Sing Can’t Swim’ swings it’s way around the studio in a demented kind of display of catch me if you can. And you better be good on your feet. The last cut ‘Latin Laundry’ is a warped Latin jazz number that will have you curious to the very last couple of seconds. It’s the ending most fitting for this masterpiece of servings. You can expect most songs to begin one way and end up another, or something like that. Most assuredly for the lovers of the crazy good avant, mixed with the crazy good odd fusion. Brave and genius.

The vote is in. This is fabulous music! Too Noisy Fish manage to make you smile, worry, grit your teeth, laugh, be surprised, wonder, ponder, and sit in amazement, all in the same recording. ‘Fast Easy Sick’ is one of the best discs I have listened to this year. It’s beyond great, it’s fantastic! How these bands from Belgium do it beats me, but I plan on listening to plenty more bands from a country that seems to constantly breathe out great bands. ULTRA HIGHLY RECOMMENDED WITH A CHERRY ON TOP!

  ©Reviewed by Lee Henderson on May 7th, 2012

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