Home » Jazz Articles » Espen Eriksen Trio: End Of Summer

Album Review

Espen Eriksen Trio: End Of Summer


Sign in to view read count
Espen Eriksen Trio: End Of Summer
Any album recorded during the lockdown of 2020 will doubtless be scrutinised for cryptic references. As such, End Of Summer as a title might hint at something deeper (or darker) than mere seasonal flux. But amidst so much global turmoil, the Espen Eriksen Trio has held its nerve and created another poignant opus. Tranquility at the centre of chaos.

As a Nordic pianist with a keen awareness of folk ballads and lullabies, Eriksen brings an innocent guile to his craft. Supremely skilled at the keyboard, his philosophy is certainly based on the 'less is more' approach. Thus he offers clear phrasing and charming melodies, tightly drawn into sketches which speak personal volumes, then peacefully close.

The trio's previous outing was a highly sensorial work with saxophonist Andy Sheppard, but here they revisit the enriched and intensified style of their earlier Never Ending January (Rune Grammofon, 2015). Eriksen's art has rarely been about astonishing the listener with unexpected twists. His musical blueprint is to quietly enthrall, to capture the halcyon imagery of his thoughts. End Of Summer opens with "Where The River Runs," a light-fingered and lyrical piece whose lead melody is echoed in octave jumps. "Back To Base" has elegiac bass bowings and quietly busy percussion, then "Dancing Demons" takes a deeply focussed study into a sweep of controlled energy. Here we really sense the unit functioning as one entity, with one higher purpose.

The bluesy title track adds loping bass lines and a hint of bossa in the percussion. It also highlights Eriksen's subtle use of a noirish suspense which pops up in many of his numbers, rather like those moments in a Bergman movie when shadows dance across walls or faces. Next up, the cadences on "Transparent Darkness" find Eriksen lingering and reflecting; maybe even lamenting the lost lives of 2020's pandemic.

"A Long Way From Home" uses deft martial snares to propel its yearning lilt, while "Reminiscence" is also aptly titled, a track which tumbles sweetly in its own nostalgia... for what? A lost friendship or love affair, perhaps? Or possibly the life we took for granted before a global virus changed everything.

Their first record as an actual trio for five years, End Of Summer marks a new and optimistic season for Eriksen's band. Informed by the moods and emotions of its circumstances, this is an exemplary album.

Track Listing

Where The River Runs; Back To Base; Dancing Demons; End Of Summer; Transparent Darkness; A Long Way From Home; Reminiscence.


Espen Eriksen: piano; Lars Tormod Jenset: bass; Andreas Bye: drums.

Album information

Title: End Of Summer | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Rune Grammofon

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter Since 1995, shortly after the dawn of the internet, All About Jazz has been a champion of jazz, supporting it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to rigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album



Jazz Is Dead 14
Henry Franklin
With Grace In Mind
One Of The Others
Taurey Butler
Times Like These
Nica Carrington


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.