James Michael Stevens
I must admit I have a real passion for music that is based on a season or a month, a wonderful narrative can be created from a musicians heart and their reflections on this subject, and we’re lucky enough now to be able to examine this in more detail through the collection of very classy songs created by James Michael Stevens and called, July.
The artist is not treading on unknown paths here, as he has completed great works for each of the months of this year as well, but here on July, his latest release, he does bring a wonderful romantic energy into the story of the album for us all to enjoy.
The memory palace of In My Summer Dreams starts our solo piano sojourn, a piece that is utterly charming with every note played, and from this vast body of work, some 15 tracks, which is incredibly rare for this day and age, we find compositions that brings a certain musical mournful resonance, like Silver Canvas, or a classic new age piano styled arrangement like Yellow Roses.
The melodic structures in this album are quite profound and easily memorable; one may even find themselves in a magical moment of whistling tracks like The Mystery of Love, or Once in a Purple Sky whilst going about their day, or just simply floating with the lightness of performances of pieces like Sunset Falls, for me one of the most colourful and descriptive compositions from the album.
For every piano music aficionado there is truly something for everyone, with the penultimate offering Dusk being a fine example, an arrangement that contains mood, emotion and a blissfully fluent performance too.
July by James Michael Stevens gifts the listener 15 glorious solo piano performances that they can really kick back, relax and enjoy. This is one of the hottest months of the year, but here the artist has manifested a musical sanctuary for the listener, one to happily drift on a bed of piano based tranquillity with and enjoy an album that is as timeless as a thousand summers.