|Line On Love evolved from a very successful European tour in spring 2002. The tour featured Michael Formanek and Billy Drummond – Ehrlich’s bassist and drummer (respectively) for many years – and Craig Taborn on piano. As with his previous acclaimed recording, Song, Ehrlich reprises the quartet instrumentation for Line On Love. Ehrlich believes that the piano quartet gives him a strong forum for writing and playing his lyrical, narrative style. As with all of his group formats, there is continual emphasis on group interplay. He feels his music is always a group story, about the interaction of the different voices of the instruments chosen.
Influenced greatly by the free jazz of the late 60s and classical music, Ehrlich once again combines these seemingly disparate music forms with his strong sense of bebop phrasing and knack for emotional resonance. Ehrlich's compositions on Line On Love are consistently inventive and unpredictable, moving from the classically reverent “Hymn” to the more traditional jazz of “Like I Said,” on which Taborn shines. “Line on Love” evokes romantic mystery through Ehrlich’s introspective alto horn playing and consistent bass line from Formanek. On “Julian’s Theme” – named for Ehrlich’s son – the mood turns more upbeat as Ehrlich rides Drummond’s swift and steady drumming. Ehrlich gets down on “Lucky Life” and spotlights his considerable talent as an improviser. “Solace” returns us to a more reflective mood, engaging us in the fluttering, warm sound of Ehrlich’s bass clarinet. On “St. Louis Summer,” he creates a blues-laden groove before easing us into the avant-garde leanings of “The Git Go,” a tune he reprises from an earlier CD, Sojourn.