The sleeve notes (by Lester Koenig) quote Richard Hadlock, jazz editor of the San Francisco Examiner, who writes:
- "As this and his last Contemporary release Smack Up!, demonstrate, Art was well on his way toward a new kind of playing freedom in 1960. He had, partly through the examples of John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, begun to set aside his few remaining inhibitions and reach out for still more direct contact with his emotions... A musician friend told me recently that sometimes Pepper's playing 'sounds like a man crying — it just tears you up.' I agree."
AllMusic reviewer Scott Yanow awarded the album 4.5 stars and called it an "interesting and largely enjoyable set". Yanow also echoed Hadlock's comments, writing that "Pepper was just starting to show the influence of John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman in his style, freeing up his playing and displaying a greater intensity during his improvisations."