Jason Anick and Matt De Champlain – Reverence (ENG review)

A tribute to Stephane Grapelli and Oscar Peterson // Street Date: February 2nd 2024
Jason Anick and Matt De Champlain – Reverence

For stylistic reasons, you won’t hear this album on Bayou Blue Radio; however, the editorial teams of Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move consider it one of their favorites. They couldn’t resist the charm and poetry of this elegant musical proposal. It’s highly likely that these two artists would have received compliments from Stéphane Grappelli, whom I had the pleasure of meeting twice in my life. He was always amazed by the younger generations using his music. Oscar Peterson also had this reputation. I must admit that both the violin and piano aspects of this album are particularly interesting.
There have been numerous tribute albums dedicated to the jazz violin pioneer Stéphane Grappelli and the brilliant piano virtuoso Oscar Peterson. In “Révérence: A Tribute to Stéphane Grappelli and Oscar Peterson” (Magic Fiddle Music), violinist Jason Anick and pianist Matt DeChamplain come together to recreate the chemistry between these two jazz giants who played together in the 1970s. Precise arrangements combined with the spontaneity of a live studio recording bring out the best in Anick and DeChamplain. Their virtuosity and empathetic playing infuse each piece with the right mix of excitement, humor, and joy. Guitarist Matt Munisteri and bassist Eduardo Belo complete the rhythm section with equal finesse.
This kind of album is quite rare these days and deserves recognition. The sumptuous arrangements showcase the two group leaders without being heavy, which is a remarkable achievement in this genre of music where poorly thought-out arrangements can quickly weigh down the structure and make it indigestible. That’s not the case here. The ten tracks of the album go by at supersonic speed, evoking the discreet fragrance of bourgeois salons on an autumn evening, ultimately enticing you to take a stroll in the park where fallen leaves caress your senses.
The high-quality audio recording also contributes to the appreciation of this album. Beyond the variety of textures and moods expressed in the choice of melodies, Anick and DeChamplain’s arrangements were designed to appeal not only to jazz aficionados but also to the general public. “You can listen attentively to Peterson/Grappelli recordings as a musician. But you can also have them in the background and adapt them to many occasions to create an atmosphere. This is a testament to the genius of revered artists because they knew how to balance art and entertainment.” Once again, Révérence achieves such a balance with its profound yet accessible homage to two of the most influential figures in jazz history. So, if you like the violin and a slightly retro jazz vibe, you know what you need to do on the second day of February…

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, January 18th 2024


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