2015 / Ryan Stewart Music
Review by Michael Debbage
After only completing 3 releases it almost seems pretentious for your average artist to be releasing a “best of” on your 4th creation. However, Ryan Stewart and Memories is neither your average artist nor your typical “best of” respectively. This time around Stewart strips down his music to the very core featuring just the man and his piano making Memories exceedingly memorable.
While Stewart was featured on Paul Cardall’s Miracles as far back as 2001 it was not until 2008 when Ryan’s very impressive debut solo album Equanimity was released. Since then he has released In the Dreaming Hour in 2010 and One Journey in 2014 that included so many stirring compositions. Thus the challenge for Memories was for Stewart to choose the right songs and to present his music in a whole different reflective light. Needless to say all 3 albums are well represented with a slightly heavier emphasis on his solo debut Equanimity. There are no new tracks which is frankly refreshing as so many artists attempt to force their fans to purchase an entire album by doing so. Instead Stewart’s enticement is to hear his past catalog solo and that alone is worth the price of admission.
The discography of Ryan Stewart is filled with concise and confident compositions that are rich in uncomplicated detail, melody and passion making him one of the most memorable pianists in recent years. With a plethora of material to choose from the only challenge is whether Stewart has picked his best. This is always arguable on any “best of” but whether you have been a fan from the beginning or whether you are new and need a place to start then Memories is a must for either.
December 20, 2015