Artemis, Blue Note

Sounds incredible on paper, look at the names who make up Artemis, an all female jazz supergroup featuring pianist and musical director Renee Rosnes, clarinettist Anat Cohen, tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, bassist Noriko …

Published: 11 Sep 2020. Updated: 17 days.

Sounds incredible on paper, look at the names who make up Artemis, an all female jazz supergroup featuring pianist and musical director Renee Rosnes, clarinettist Anat Cohen, tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, bassist Noriko Ueda, drummer Allison Miller, and vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant.

And yet there is a difference between sounding great on paper and being a little lacklustre in reality. Oh, and just one my gripes, what have they done to 'The Sidewinder' making this great burner so snoozy?

It's not even that the album seems so unedgy although it certainly isn't a challenging listen. Perhaps Anat Cohen's clarinet in the ensemble mix makes the band sound a little too traddy and even Cécile McLorin Salvant isn't quite as compelling as usual although she does her best on covering a Stevie Wonder classic. Disappointing! Out now.

Tags: Album reviews

Chick Corea, Plays

Of all the great jazz piano masters Chick Corea is one of the most prolific, regularly releasing albums and so while you can never take him for granted a new Chick Corea album is not a rare occurrence. But unlike say Keith Jarrett, Chick's solo …

Published: 11 Sep 2020. Updated: 17 days.

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Of all the great jazz piano masters Chick Corea is one of the most prolific, regularly releasing albums and so while you can never take him for granted a new Chick Corea album is not a rare occurrence. But unlike say Keith Jarrett, Chick's solo outings (not withstanding on this new record a couple of duets with Yaron Herman and Charles Heisser) are not his year-in year-out speciality. Plays is a live recorded wide ranging mix with Mozart, Scarlatti, Scriabin and Chopin in the selection alongside material by Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, Jobim, the Gershwins, Jerome Kern and Stevie Wonder plus tracks from Corea's 'Children’s Songs. Corea is agile and as fluent as ever. You won't be coming to the album for morbid introspection or harrowing interior vision (Corea laps up chatting to his audiences and so there is a companionable side to his approach throughout) but instead above all for the joy in the playing and his astonishing ability as an improviser condensed in this generous and often celebratory 2 CD set. Out now on Concord.