Charles Gayle, best known as a screaming free jazzer with a powerful tone on the tenor sax and a very intense style, is purposely a little more laid-back and melodic on this set, even exploring three standards. However, one should not expect this to be a bop date. The melody of "I Remember You" only appears near its conclusion, while Gayle effectively (if eccentrically) explores the theme of "What's New" based on its melancholy mood. On some of the originals, Gayle's "preaching" on his horn and his extroverted and dramatic statements are a bit reminiscent of Albert Ayler. He also plays some unusual solo stride piano (Art Tatum meets Cecil Taylor) on "I Can't Get Started." His fans will enjoy these explorations, even if the fire is sometimes at a slightly lower flame than usual.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow