Artemis Buys Tone-Cool, Inks Jimmy Cliff

Tone-Cool founder Rosenblatt stays on as prez.

Artemis Records has acquired blues and roots label Tone-Cool Records and signed reggae legend Jimmy Cliff to an exclusive North American deal.

The roster of Wellesley Hills, Mass.-based Tone-Cool includes Susan Tedeschi, the North Mississippi All Stars and Double Trouble.

New York-based Artemis, which is handled by Koch, has distributed Tone-Cool since September 2001. Tone-Cool previously had a long relationship with Rounder Records, and went through Universal Music & Video Distribution for two years before joining Artemis.

Tone-Cool CEO Richard Rosenblatt, who founded the label in 1985, will stay on board with the new title of president. The label's former president, Rosenblatt's partner Dave Bartlett, exited the company last month to start a management and consulting firm.

Meanwhile, Artemis will release Cliff's new album, "Black Magic," on Aug. 24. Produced by Dave Stewart, the set features Wyclef Jean, Annie Lennox, Sting, Jools Holland, Kool & the Gang, tennis player Yannick Noah, and one of the last recordings by the late Joe Strummer.

Cliff has recorded for labels that include Reprise and Columbia since the 1975 release of his landmark album "The Harder They Come" (Mango).