Three Fall and Melane: Four

review three fall x1 cong

You’re just getting to think you’re going to hear nothing new, and then along comes this little treasure. We can’t find fault. For a start, it’s that rare beast, a band with no information on Google. It’s like the days before the internet, the mystery of discovering a new band and waiting for serendipity to reveal more.

It opens with (possibly) a didgeridoo, followed by an air raid siren and blues/rock/soul that’s a tad unexpected from a jazz trio on jazz label ACT. It reminded us of the late lamented Do Me Bad Things, a nine-piece jazz/funk/blues rock band from Croydon (who presumably split because the royalties ran too thin). After a bit it does veer towards jazz, with a funky jazz trombone solo over soul/RnB drumming. This is just the first couple of minutes but there is much, much more to come.

Three Fall is Lutz Streun (bass clarinet and tenor sax), Sebastian Winne (drums and percussion) and Til Schneider (trombone). Their instrumentation is thus drums plus two blowing instruments, so no harmony. There’s no guitar, which makes some of the sounds puzzling. Their 2011 ACT debut had new instrumental versions of tunes by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which the Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith said were the best cover versions he had heard. Three Fall saw Melane Nkounkolo (vocals) at a festival, and Three Fall was four.

While nominally jazz this is more soul and Afrobeat with a jazz influence. The end result is like nothing else you’re going to hear, somewhere between funk/ rock and a New Orleans street band. With dub reggae thrown in, because they can.

The cover art is by Osi Audu, Study for Graphite Head.

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