Editor's Choice

Rating: ★★★★

Record and Artist Details


Cécile McLorin Salvant (v)


Blue Note


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date not stated

It would be difficult to imagine a finer introduction to their music than this self-titled debut album from international supergroup Artemis. The recording catches fire from the get-go with the Miller-penned opener ‘Goddess of the Hunt’, which unfolds with an inexorable force thanks to its powerfully insistent ostinato.

Aldana's captivating ‘Frida’ returns to the theme of her much acclaimed 2019 album, Visions, which celebrated the legacy of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Jensen supplies a spectacular reworking of ‘The Fool on the Hill’, complete with an explosive charge in its thrilling coda, while pianist and musical director Rosnes goes for an all-out aural assault with the dazzling, prismatic colours of ‘Big Top’. In addition to an almost Kind of Blue modal treatment of Lee Morgan's ‘The Sidewinder’, the track list also features some judicious juxtapositions, notably Cohen's Chopinesque ballad ‘Nocturno’ heard back to back with Ueda's hard-swinging ‘Step Forward’. Beautifully arranged by Rosnes, Salvant contributes spellbinding takes on Stevie Wonder's ‘If It's Magic’, in which Dorothy Ashby's wondrous harp accompaniment and Wonder's understated harmonica interjections are transformed into plangent brass chorales and sumptuous piano voicings, plus the lesser-known melancholic gem recorded by vocalist Maxine Sullivan in the late 1940s, ‘Cry, Buttercup, Cry’.

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