Vocals; Tenor, Alto and
Soprano SaxophonesAnthony Villa
|For more than fifteen years Cold Spring Jazz Quartet has appeared regularly in nightclubs, restaurants and concert venues in the Baltimore-Washington area, winning a broad and loyal following. Favorite venues have included The Tremont Hotel, Ixia Restaurant, Meli, and Germano’s Piattini. Recent private engagements have included Stella Maris’s annual wine-tasting event, concerts at Cylburn Arboretum and at the Greenmount Street Festival. For smaller rooms, the group often performs as a drumless trio. But at any size, CSJQ can create a variety sounds and moods—from a swing-and-standards combo to a bebop group or blues band—depending upon the audience and venue.
Urban Pastoral was well received. The BJA Newsletter described the music as “honed to a high polish,” and the vocals as showing “pizzazz up the patoozy.”
Their new disk, Warming Trend, shows the band taking off in new directions. The addition of pianist Anthony Villa has beefed up their straight-ahead and Latin chops. Villa’s elegant, energetic solos lend grace and vivacity to the originals “Ver la Luz,” and “Hagerstown,” and to Thelonious Monk’s “Evidence.” Mark Osteen’s dynamic saxophone playing hits new heights with dashing tenor solos on “Samba de Orfeu,” and his own “On Second Thought.” Drummer Greg Mack is showcased on the Afro-Cuban burner “Los Bravos,” and bassist Gary Kerner’s witty style is perfect for Mose Allison’s sardonic “I Don’t Worry about a Thing.”
Osteen’s singing voice offers a spectrum of colors, ranging from the reflective, on the ballad “Brown Study,” to R & B roaring on Oscar Brown, Jr’s. classic “Humdrum Blues.” Warming Trend gives him more to say with four new originals featuring lyrics by award-winning poet Ned Balbo, who brings alive the builder of Watts Towers on “The Twilight Towers,” invites female cats to play on “Tomcat’s Croon,” and imagines a forbidden love affair in “Aubade.” That tune also offers new tones: accordion, courtesy of Kerner, and the mandolin of guest artist Joel Michael-Schwartz.
The planet is warming up, and so is Cold Spring Jazz Quartet—but in a good way! Listen and feel the heat.
Contact Mark Osteen (410-339-7721) or e-mail email@example.com for further information or to book an engagement.
Photo: Leo Howard Lubow