Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Shadows and Shades By James Michael Stevens


Shadows and Shades


James Michael Stevens

Written by

Steve Sheppard


James must be one of the most prolific pianists around today, his muse is in full flow here again as we take a look at the artists latest release Shadows and Shades, the quality of light and the reflective mood from it is always a fantastic subject matter to create art with music from, and on this splendid release from James, he does it great justice indeed.

James Michael Stevens has a deft and sensitive touch on the keys; the opening piece on the album is a fine example and called Borealis, the gentle crafted nature of this opening piece is wonderfully picturesque; this is something that can be said about every track on this new album too, as we move through one story to another.

Tracks like Hour Glass and Theme from an Early Morning are but two that created some amazing imagery in my mind, the ever onward motion of the aforementioned composition was incredibly addictive, whilst the laid back easy like Sunday morning feeling of the latter, was simply sublime.

As we move ever onward we find tracks like the meditative Lost in a Moment, a slice of ambient magic, and then that newly found peace leads us to a musical sanctuary in the form of Where Peace Is Found, two beautiful tracks with a different structure to them both.

Shadows and Shades is an album that you can just drift off to and rest a while in its magical reveries, the penultimate offering from the album did that very thing for me, and is called Twilight Meditation, a track that for me was my personal favourite, but I have always been a fan of that mystical interplay with minor and major, the artist then concludes the album with a delicate offering entitled When Night Has Fallen, a song that one would not be surprised to find in a love segment of a movie one day.

Shadows and Shades by James Michael Stevens is a calming creation of totally quality solo piano work, the artist has been in full flow for a few years now, and is manifesting some fantastic material for us all, and its very pleasing to say that this album now adds to that catalogue of brilliance with great ease and sublime skill, this is solo piano at its very best.

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