If I see a CD on the ECM label in the used bin, I'll pick it up without question, such is my respect for the label and its artists. I see used ECM CDs very, very rarely so I didn't think twice when I recently saw this one. I first learned of Erskine when he was the drummer on early Steps Ahead albums, but had never heard any of his albums as a leader until I bought You Never Know. The album is characterized as his first recording with his "European trio" which includes British pianist John Taylor and Swedish bassist Palle Danielsson.
Taylor writes the majority of this album and because of the instrumentation, it feels like a piano album, but all players contribute to the overall aesthetic. It's typical contemplative ECM stuff and I mean that as a compliment; I'd recommend this for nighttime listening. In a May, 1993 review, Down Beat magazine gave the album ★★★★½ and heaped praise on Erskine's subtle playing, calling it "more zen than macho" and stating that "rather than keeping strict time, Peter plays a more melodic function here, commenting on the music while Danielsson holds the center." The New York Times seems to have liked this album, but for some reason couldn't resist a dig at Jarrett:
Drummer Peter Erskine leads a Keith Jarrett-influenced trio featuring John Taylor on piano and Palle Danielsson on bass in a comfortable set of standards and originals. The mood is upbeat, the rhythm in Erskine's hands bright and easy. Taylor's piano solos have a nice shape and more of a sense of understatement than Jarrett, for all his gifts, can ever seem to muster.I guess every ECM pianist gets compared to Keith Jarrett eventually. If you're looking for an album review drenched in needless metaphors, head over here.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart
Tracks: It's all very serene and relaxing to these ears, particularly New Old Age, On The Lake, Evans Above, and Heart Game. There's also a nice take on Cole Porter's lyrical Everything I Love from the Broadway show Let's Face It!
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None.