2020 / JimDaneker.com
Review by Michael Debbage
It has been 3 years since Jim Daneker’s hugely impressive debut Ad Alta that it appeared his problem paralleled the rock band Boston. How do I follow up that grand massive piece of work? Unlike Boston, who attempted to reduplicate their efforts, Daneker did quite the opposite and took a totally different new journey. He did not attempt to reach “to the summit” but instead took us on a musically passage unlike anything we have ever heard from Jim Daneker. As a result Equinox presents a completely contrasting musical perspective that is nevertheless equally as moving.
During this time of isolation and distance from our family and loved ones, Equinox is a perfect soundtrack to allow us to find peace and reflection during this difficult time to remind us that when you are alone you are never really alone. The album has a consistent theme of allowing you to slow your pulse and reflect that while the world may appear chaotic and out of control, there is a greater power beyond what anyone of us can see. With that in mind, this 12 track 42 plus minutes of tranquility helps you find calm and quietude.
Equinox opens with the meandering understated “Aurora” and continues on into “Long Shadows” allowing you to get lost in the music. Though just over the 2 minute mark, the latter finds a wonderful soft repeating melodic line that brings to mind the opening introduction of “The River” on Bruce Springsteen’s Live 1975-85 album. That soft understated melody continues on with “The First Frost” and continues to transform you as the listener from a place of possible worry and distraction to a safe harbor of peace and tranquility.
While the music is refrained and refined, it is by no means boring nor bland. That said, Daneker gently picks up the pace somewhat with the more rhythmic lively “The Wonder Of Autumn” that even includes some gentle percussive embellishments. If this song was filled out, it would have fit nicely on Ad Alta but it does not place the pastoral theme at risk. Meanwhile, the album slowly closes out with the light reflective string embellishments found on the delightful “There And Back Again” that will leave a goose bump trail followed by the concluding “Light Of The World with its light choral arrangements.
Though Jim Daneker’s latest recording will not have you prancing around like Ad Alta did, that is not the point of this poignant recording. Equinox is an introspective inward musical experience, that instead of hiking God's country, we get to soar and glide on the wings of an eagle as it hovers above the valleys and mountains, allowing us to gaze down upon God's wonderful Creation. You can almost feel the life breathing air brush against your face along with being able to visual see the majestic mountains and landscape, but this time from far above. With very similar moods and tempos throughout, Equinox allows you to completely escape from today's chaos uncovering a harbor that will allow you to rest reflect and restore yourself. Do yourself a favor and switch off the news and find a quiet room with this hushed sound experience.
At the time of posting on 1/31/21 currently only available for digital download on Jim Daneker’s website.
January 31, 2021