There are no losers here. That this album was recorded at all is a triumph, as leader / tenor saxophonist Mark Gould was almost killed in a house fire about a year before the session was held. That it turned out as well as it has is a tribute to Gould and his talented friends from midwest Florida, especially trumpeter Tom Parmerter, pianist Richard Drexler and guitarist LaRue Nickelson.
Gould, who plays with the enthusiasm and drive of one who is happy to be alive, is a technically solid post-bopper whose crisp sound reminds one of Billy Pierce, Rickey Woodard and Don Braden, among others. He’s a likable if not especially visionary soloist, as are Parmerter, Drexler, Nickelson and trombonist Keith Oshiro, who adds muscle to “The Unsuspecting Moment” and “The End of a Love Affair.” “Moment” is one of five originals by Gould (the others are “Continuance,” “Silent Rain,“ “Between Here and There” and “Another Voice,” the last with lyrics by Jeff Pinkham). They’re easy on the ears but if I’d been programming I’d have led with Charles Trenet’s “I Wish You Love,” which closes the album on an invigorating note.
Three of Gould’s friends are singers, and each is engaging on one selection apiece Ally Couch (“Bewitched”), Theo Valentin (“The End of a Love Affair”), Terry T. Pinkham (“Another Voice”). The blue-chip rhythm section, supervised by Drexler, includes bassist Bill Pillucere and drummer Thomas Carabasi who have worked together for a number of years with Brazilian pianist Manfredo Fest. A well-designed album of contemporary straight-ahead Jazz with a sizable number of pleasurable moments.
Contact: Efficacy Music, 504 7th Avenue SW, Largo, FL 33770. Phone 727–581–2397; e–mail Tenormg64@aol.com; available online at www.applejazz.com (phone 1-888-241-2464).