In the world of classical music, Grammy Award winner Zachary James has embarked on an extraordinary journey with his latest release, “Song of Myself.” This album not only marks James’ classical composition debut but also delves deep into the timeless verses of Walt Whitman’s renowned poem, “Song of Myself.” In this awe-inspiring journey, James collaborates with exceptional musicians—cellist Wick Simmons, percussionist Ariel Campos and guitarist Frederick Poholek.
Before we dive into the musical masterpiece, it’s worth noting that Zachary James is no stranger to accolades and recognition in the music and theater world. His incredible vocal talents have earned him the title of BroadwayWorld Vocalist of the Decade, among other honors. James, known for his “huge, robust bass” and “intrinsically beautiful cavernous bass,” brings his remarkable voice to the forefront in this album.
“Song of Myself” is a 12-track, 64-minute opus, intended to be experienced as a full performance. It’s unique blend of bass-baritone vocals, cello, guitar, percussion and untuned piano creates a rich, immersive soundscape that mirrors the depth of Whitman’s poetry.
“I Celebrate Myself,” sets stage for the album and it’s a triumphant celebration of self. Zachary’s deep, resonant voice immediately captures your attention and invites you into the profound exploration of Whitman’s poetry. In “I Have Heard What the Talkers Were Talking” Zach’s vocal prowess shines as he interprets Whitman’s words with remarkable emotion. Music beautifully complements the lyrical richness, making it a standout piece.
“Space and Time!” this spoken-word masterpiece is the longest track on the album, spanning an impressive 15 minutes and 46 seconds. Zachary’s’ delivery is nothing short of captivating as he embarks on a philosophical journey through Whitman’s words. It begins with the hauntingly profound statement, “Space and time, now I see it is true what I guessed that, what I guessed when I loafed on the grass, what I guessed while I lay low on my bed.” This opening sets the tone for an introspective exploration of the interconnectedness of existence, the passage of time and the wonder of the universe. Accompanying music, no doubt, adds a layer of depth to this spoken word piece, enhancing the overall experience
“It is Time to Explain Myself” delivers a sense of urgency and self-exploration. Zach’s commanding vocals carry the weight of Whitman’s words and the music builds to create a powerful crescendo. As the final track, “The Past and Present Wilt,” brings the album to a contemplative close. Zachary’s performance is filled with reflection and poignancy, leaving a lasting impression that lingers in your mind long after the music fades.
I recommend this album to anyone seeking a profound and introspective musical experience. Whether you celebrate self-discovery, appreciate deep poetry or simply enjoy beautiful vocals, ‘Song of Myself’ is a must-listen. Join me in this captivating journey of music and self-reflection!