As a writer, Gould produces some thought provoking work. The title cut, "The Unsuspecting Moment," is an interesting up-tempo piece particularly with the quick changing harmonies at the end of each chorus. Also the half time swing toward the end of the piece was the bit of aural witticism that perhaps provided the unsuspecting moment? The composition "Continuance" a straight ahead hard bop sounding swinger was most notable to this listener, although "Between Here and There," a nice Latin piece also deserves mention.
Performances on the recording represent more than merely competent musicianship. Certainly the musicians performing on The Unsuspecting Moment have good professional pedigrees. The rhythm section maintains a driving consistency regardless of whether the tune is an up tempo swinger, a ballad or a burning Latin beat. Of particular notice is the impressive soloing of guitarist LaRue Nickelson, trombonist Keith Oshiro, and saxophonist Gould. Trumpeter Tom Parmerter also contributes some nice solos with occasional forays into the trumpet stratosphere. Three vocalists are featured on the CD. Ally Couch performs a sensitive and moving version of "Bewitched," Theo Valentine delivers a heart rendering "The End of a Love Affair," and Terry Pinkham sings on the Gould original "Another Voice," with lyrics by her husband Jeff.
While this is an enjoyable debut album that will serve a general jazz listener well with some really great writing/arranging by Mark Gould, and moments of musical excitement and aesthetic value, it is not without flaws. At times the mix has the bass and drums overshadowing the horns, with the horns sounding as though they coming from "down the hall" from the rest of the ensemble. Despite these problems, overall this is fun CD to listen to, and leads one to look forward to the next project by Mark Gould and Friends.