Tenor saxophonist Ned Goold is much like a lot of Manhattan-based jazz musicians: he has obviously paid his dues and developed a distinctive approach to his instrument, even though he isn't a household name to jazz fans on a national level. But that is what the Smalls label is about, recording and promoting seasoned artist deserving of much wider recognition. Goold's angular compositions reflect influences ranging from Thelonious Monk to Sam Rivers and while you can occasionally decipher the standards which inspired some of them, it is usually only for a moment and it is very easy to miss his fleeting road signs to the unwary. The post-bop musician's compositions include the humorous "March of the Malcontents" and the tongue-in-cheek of "Sour and Ugly" (a wonderfully disguised reworking of the changes to "Sweet and Lovely"). He also delivers when tackling standards in a fairly straight up fashion, though he lets the rhythm section play the chords to "What Is This Thing Called Love" as he detours into his own world with an angular, offbeat solo. Likewise, "I Never Knew" is transformed from a once lush, slow ballad setting into a brisk, bumpy, and delightful journey. Pianist Sacha Perry, bassist Neal Caine, and drummer Charles Goold (the latter making his recording debut) provide excellent support throughout this studio session, one destined to please many very contented jazz fans.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden