The Allmusic review by Al Campbell states: "Among the highlights are a passionate reading of Duke Ellington's 'In a Sentimental Mood' and the title piece, a moving tribute to W. E. B. Du Bois, featuring the haunting soprano vocalist Christine Spencer employing a distinct 20th century classical influence, with Shepp on piano. Shepp is the solo horn on these dates, playing at peak form." The CD version of On This Night includes an alternate take of "The Mac Man" and three of "The Chased" from the "Further Fire Music" album and a reading of his poem "Malcolm, Malcolm, Semper Malcolm", previously issued on the "Fire Music" album. The track "Gingerbread, Gingerbread Man" was removed and included as a bonus track on the CD reissue of the John Coltrane/Archie Shepp album New Thing at Newport.