Cold Spring Jazz Quartet Presents “Night Songs: The Music of Film Noir”

CSJQ with Logo 2For more than fifteen years, CSJQ has been treating Baltimore-Washington audiences to their scintillating blend of current and classic jazz. The emphasis for this evening, however, is on the classics, as CSJQ performs the music of 1940s and ‘50s film noir.

The words “film noir” conjure up images of smoky night clubs, rain-slicked streets, world-weary detectives and dangerous dames. On the soundtrack one hears a slinky jazz saxophone. But actually the films noir of the 1940s didn’t have jazz scores. What they did have was a large body of tunes drawn from the Great American Songbook—classics such as “I’ll Remember April” (Phantom Lady), “Stella by Starlight” (The Uninvited), “I Hear a Rhapsody” (Clash by Night), “Your Red Wagon” (They Live by Night), “Never Let Me Go” (The Scarlet Hour) and “One for My Baby” (Road House), as well as the title themes for Laura and Body and Soul, among others. In the 1950s and afterward, jazz soundtracks set the mood for films such as The Big Combo, and Sweet Smell of Success, for TV crime series such as Peter Gunn, Mr. Lucky, and Mike Hammer, and for neo-noir films like Taxi Driver and Chinatown.

Along with this evocative jazz, the show will feature introductions by CSJQ saxophonist and vocalist Mark Osteen—a film scholar and the author of Nightmare Alley: Film Noir and the American Dream.

“Night Songs” is a dazzling and unique multi-media event sure to delight both jazz aficionados and classic movie fans.

Friday, January 24th, 2014, 7:30-9:30 pm. Germano’s Piattini; 300 South High Street, Baltimore 21202. Tickets $10. To purchase a ticket and make a reservation, please call 410-752-4515.

Exciting Weekend Coming Up!

This Sunday, Sept. 29th, my jazz samba, “Ver la Luz,” will have its world premiere at the Baltimore Jazz Composers’ Showcase. This free event, staged at Loyola University’s McManus Theatre, will start at 5 pm. A reception follows the concert.

The show features four commissioned works by award-winning composers—these are also world premieres—and six other pieces (including mine) by well-regard Baltimore-area jazz artists. The tunes will be performed by a crackerjack quintet led by Anthony Villa (piano): David Smith, trumpet; Craig Alston, saxophones; Alex Weber, bass; and Mark St. Pierre on drums. This is the only time these pieces will be performed together. You don’t want to miss it!

On Saturday, starting at 3 pm, I’ll be signing copies of Nightmare Alley at the Johns Hopkins University Press booth at the Baltimore Book Festival. Come on down and get your copy, browse, and talk to actual authors.

And on Monday I rest. Layout 1

CSJQ Presents “Monk’s Moods: A Tribute to Thelonious Monk”

If you’re in Baltimore this weekend, come on out to the Cold Spring Jazz Quartet’s special event! Here are details.

Cold Spring Jazz Quartet presents “Monk’s Moods: A Tribute to Thelonious Monk.”

CSJQ has carved out a reputation for giving classic jazz a contemporary sheen. With this all-Monk show they do it again. Offering a range of tempos in tunes from the familiar to the obscure, the band pays homage to the legendary composer/pianist’s infectious joy and wit. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind event!

Friday, March 15th, 2013, 7:30-9:30 pm. Germano’s Trattoria. 300 South High Street, Baltimore 21202. Tickets $10. To purchase a ticket and make a reservation, please call 410-752-4515. CSJQ with Logo 2

Nightmare Alley

Hey, everyone,

Here’s the cover of my forthcoming book. The photo is from the movie Out of the Past, and the actress is Jane Greer, who plays the femme fatale Kathie Moffat. The shadows are those of two men, fighting, one of them soon to be shot.

The book is due out in January.

Nightmare Alley Cover

She’s enjoying this!