Live at Tidings Park
Record Label: Jalkoda Records
Style: Straight-Ahead / Classic
Musicians: Al Maniscalco (saxophones), Darius Scott (piano), Eric
Kennedy (drums), Jeff Reed (bass)
Review: LIVE AT TIDINGS PARK captures saxophonist Al Maniscalco
and his band on a midsummer evening's concert. It's not hard to conjure
a convivial atmosphere of a lush, humid park filled with grown-ups
stretching out on lawn, children laughing on swings, dogs leaping at
thrown Frisbees, and the band striking out tunes as the brilliant colors
of the late afternoon fade to black.
The taping of the concert was never intended to be an album. Maniscalco
recorded the performance on his mini-disc recorder to be played and
erased after his review of the concert. What Maniscalco caught was a
performance in which the band was tight and the improvisation wicked.
And reflected the setting and the mood of a carefree evening in the
The rough recording was re-mixed and mastered to bring out the best
possible sound qualities. There are moments of electrical interference
that remain. Rather than distract, these actually enhance the feeling of
attending a live, outdoor concert.
"If This Isn't Love" starts the set with a blazing extended solo by
Maniscalco that recalls at different times Coltrane and Rollins.
Maniscalco simply takes off with band in tow and later is spelled by a
very delicate piano interlude by Darius Scott. Drummer Eric Kennedy then
breaks up the bucolic sensibility with a brilliant dissonant conclusion.
Maniscalco recalls the glowing sexiness of Dexter Gordon in the
beautiful rendition of 'What A Difference A Day Makes.' Framed by the
sounds of kids playing nearby, 'Alicia' is a bittersweet ballad dripping
with heartfelt pangs of departed love. While 'Alicia' is stirring up
some old ghosts, 'Inspiration' may be the best of the set. It's a simple
melody that lends itself to impressive improvisation and captures the
sublime mood of a summer's twilight.
While this quartet is not well known outside of the Baltimore area, it
is worth remembering the name should Al Maniscalco and his band come to
play in your neighborhood park.
Reviewed by: John Doll