Ned Goold communicates easily with his audience. Maybe it's the experience that he's gained while coming up as a key member of the Harry Connick, Jr. Big Band. Or maybe it's just the pleasant opportunities that he's had in New York, enjoying mainstream trio and quartet work for audiences that truly appreciate straight-ahead jazz and its traditional framework. Theme and variations, solos around the room, head-bobbing rhythms that carry the day, and plenty to say from the leader and his tenor saxophonethese are the elements that sit right with many an audience the world over.
Recorded on December 19, 2005 in New York, March of the Malcontents features six Goold originals and several standards. The mood of the studio session runs from slow and sultry to mildly excited. While the quartet drives briskly from time to time, the mood never rises above that of a satisfied customer. Folks could simply drop in off the street to see this band work out, stay long enough to limber up those foot-tapping muscles, and then move on. Nothing in the session stands out. Goold's quartet simply delivers a good straight-ahead meeting of the minds and leaves it at that.
March of the Malcontents delivers a Monkish blow that draws upon the energy that Thelonious Monk and Charlie Rouse used to provide for New York audiences. "Sour and Ugly stands pat, as if it were a twin composition for the album's title track, helping to maintain the sameness that the quartet achieves on this session. "Thus This moves faster, "Please drives the fastest, and "Feeding Off the Host Part 1 slows things down considerably; but Goold's interpretations adopt a sound that runs clearly throughout his session with permanence. His quartet marches straight ahead from start to finish in lock step and never stops to consider any kind of contrasting musical detour.
Personnel: Ned Goold: tenor saxophone; Sacha Perry: piano; Neal Caine: double bass; Charles Goold: drums.