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Throughout its eight-decade history, Blue Note Records has been celebrated as a home for the leading voices in jazz. The label continues that tradition with the release of the self-titled debut from ARTEMIS, the supergroup comprising seven of the most acclaimed musicians in modern jazz. Featuring pianist and musical director Renee Rosnes, tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana, clarinetist Anat Cohen, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, bassist Noriko Ueda, drummer Allison Miller, and featured vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, ARTEMIS conjures a powerful collective voice from this septet of visionary bandleaders and composers.

The band initially assembled at Rosnes’ behest for a European festival tour three years ago. “I chose musicians whom I respected and wanted to make music with,” the pianist says, “and after performing together, I realized that we had a brilliant chemistry. We decided to explore the possibilities of what might develop over time. That’s how ARTEMIS was born.”

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ARTEMIS Artemis album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Post Bop 2020
ARTEMIS In Real Time album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
In Real Time
Post Bop 2023

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ARTEMIS In Real Time

Album · 2023 · Post Bop
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The singular collective known as ARTEMIS, an international all-female jazz supergroup conceived by pianist and composer Renee Rosnes, is releasing their sophomore release, "In Real Time," on the storied Blue Note label. Inspired by the Greek goddess Artemis, the ensemble's name is emblematic of their music: a divine blend of daring, natural instinct, and purity.

The original lineup of Rosnes on piano with trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, bassist Noriko Ueda, and drummer Allison Miller are joined by newcomers Nicole Grover on tenor saxophone and multi-reedist Alexa Tarantino. "In Real Time" features compositions penned by its members, contributing to a heterogeneous yet cohesive body of work. As eloquently phrased by bandleader Rosnes, the essence of the album is encapsulated in the idea of music as "liquid time in the air." This album is a living testament to that concept, as compositions unfold organically, rhythms ebb and flow, and improvisations meander through the labyrinth of time.

The opening track, Lyle Mays' "Slink," is a perfect introduction to ARTEMIS's collective jazz sound, dynamically navigating through a complex rhythmic landscape built on a transposing ostinato. This is complemented by the return of Renee Rosnes' 2002 piece, "Empress Afternoon," demonstrating not only the ensemble's virtuosic execution but also the versatility and richness of improvisational choices, especially in the contrasting solos of tenor saxophonist Nicole Grover and multi-reedist Alexa Tarantino.

Other standouts are Miller's modal journey, "Bow and Arrow," which ignites with riveting interplay between the tenor and alto saxophones. In addition, Bassist Noriko Ueda's contributions serve as the ensemble's heartbeat, particularly evident in her nuanced accompaniment on Tarantino's waltz, "Whirlwind." Throughout the album, Rosnes's intricate solos embody her innovative approach to jazz, intertwining with the ensemble to encapsulate the living, fluid nature of the genre. This concept, presenting jazz as an evolving art form, forms the album's thematic pillar and unifies the collection of compositions in a compelling narrative that flows.

"In Real Time" is a compelling testament to jazz's living, breathing essence, a sonic tapestry woven with intricate melodies and rhythmic structures, innovative solos, and rich ensemble interactions. This sophomore album is a dynamic journey, navigating the delicate balance between improvisation and composition. It reflects the unique voices of its ensemble members and their shared commitment to pushing the boundaries of the jazz idiom. It's an essential listen for those seeking to explore the convergence of tradition and innovation in contemporary jazz with a cohesive narrative.

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