The Dorf — The Dorf (Leo, 2009)
We got this CD from Leo Records with no explanation (in fact, if anyone’s got the names of the tracks, we could use them). So, what do you do? You drop the disc in the player and expect … well, in my case, I expected one or two players, doing acoustic experimental improv, or maybe a thick-blanket of electronics/synth sounds.
Nope. The Dorf is an avant-garde party band!
Once you get into the second track, you’re exposed to electric guitar jitters with a hint of punk, followed by a danceably jazz-fusion middle. The fourth track goes outright disco, with that pulsing “one-one-one” beat and some funky ’70s horn charts. Touches of “regular” big band charts touch a couple of tracks, and you do have some Euro-experimental songs too — one track is a shimmering drone, another full of fragments of tunefulness with lots of white space.
The explanation, provided on the Leo site, is that The Dorf is a monthly happening at a jazz club in Germany, led by Jan Klare. You do get the sense that this is well practiced music played with gusto, a band that’s doing more than just a one-off set of tunes. The band certainly has its artsy side, but I’m thinking this picture describes them pretty well.