Primary Instrument: Band/orchestra
Mark Osteen, vocals, saxophones. Anthony Villa, piano. Gary Kerner, bass, guitar. Greg Mack, drums and percussion.
For fifteen years Cold Spring Jazz Quartet has appeared in nightclubs, restaurants and concert venues in the Baltimore-Washington area, winning a broad and loyal following. Favorite venues have included Celebrities Lounge at the Tremont Park Hotel, Ixia Restaurant, and Meli. Recent private engagements have included Stella Maris’s annual wine-tasting event and a featured concert and lecture at the Engineer’s Club’s Jammin’ at the Mansion series. CSJQ can create a variety of different sounds and moods,from a swing-and-standards combo to a bebop group or blues band,depending upon the audience and venue.
In mid-2008 CSJQ released their new CD, Urban Pastoral, which showcases the group’s versatility and range of influences. The selections on this, the band’s second disc, spotlights their contemporary polish while also paying tribute to their roots in bebop and blues.
The “city” side opens with Peggy Lee’s “I Love Being Here with You,” featuring Osteen’s insouciant vocal. The next five tracks offer a variety of urban sounds, from Latin jazz (Kerner’s smooth samba,“Highpockets,” and a smoking rendition of Jobim’s “Favela”)to bop (“Hackensack,” “Tippin’”) to the risque blues of “Doodlin,’” which again spotlights Osteen’s sassy singing. The “country” side presents a set of sharp original compositions- including Brian Smith’s “Perception,” Osteen’s ballad “Fallow,” and multi-rhythmic “Black Olive,” and Smith’s driving “The Big ‘C’”-punctuated by two standards: a snappy take on “Is You Is” and a lyrical duo version of “You Don’t Know What Love Is.”