Live at the Baked Potato
Just when you thought that Grammy-award winning, veteran drummer Peter Erksine had exhausted nearly all musical avenues during his big band, fusion and pop adventures, along comes something completely different: a dynamic modern trio performance with Germany's Kleutgens brothers Dirk K. and J.K.. This stunningly detailed performance was captured Live at the Baked Potato (Kalle Fornia 90798-2; 65:00) - L.A.'s famed jazz haunt-as a documentary for German television, and for all to enjoy. Each track here is a little symphony for three, running a range of emotions and colors. "Nivi's Smile," for example, builds on J.K.'s singing bass chords and Erskine's impossibly fast, ticking rhythms which play like a heartbeat countering Dirk's awestruck, sweet chordings. Erskine ups the intensity on "Fire Dance," taking Latin rhythms and twisting them tight, as the brothers' play bristles with staccato-like teasing, lapping flames. Sensitive dynamics and seamless interplay highlight the gentle "La Habra," and the dark, menacing strut of "Never Gonna See U Again" is given a bittersweet blush by Dirk's soft-spoken, detailed guitar work. Each piece here opens up and blossoms into complex tones and time-shifts which captivate your attention-portraying the sheer joy of live improvisation.