By Paul Acquaro
Emerging during the depths of the Covid winter, the Dorf Alien Trio's album, Industrial Memory, is the output from a trio of young players from Ahaus, Germany who seem to be, on the one hand, steeped in the jazz tradition and, on the other, poised to make it their own.
The group is led by woodwind player (sax and bass clarinet) Francisco "Pacho" Davila from Colombia, and his sound, which is often restrained, can also deliver a punch. His international career includes a stint in the USA, and currently, groups in Wuppertal and Berlin. His cohorts in The Dorf Aliens are German drummer Karl Degenhardt and bassist Luca Müller.
The recording begins with 'Secret Chant,' which features Davila playing a reserved melody, confidently supported by his partners. Degenhardt provides a swath of rhythmic accompaniment while Müller quietly fills in any obvious gaps. The track is careful and engrossing. The next track, whose title will not gain them any friends, is only 1:22 long but starts off strong and keeps up a steady energy. In fact, one can hear the session gaining steam track by track, and by the third one, 'semblante', the group's telepathy is on full display. The later track, 'Gayle Around,' the title possibly in reference to saxophonist Charles Gayle, features Davila on bass clarinet and the woody vibrations of that wonderful instrument is testimony to the group's aforementioned fit. Mueller's pizzicato bass lines bounce around perfectly in tandem and Degenhardt's pulse carries the music forward lithely.
Industrial Memory is an impressive recording with a steady energy. From the emerging and flowing melodic ideas to the supportive and imaginative support work, it is a really nice introduction to some up and coming players.