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JT Track Premiere: Benje Daneman’s “(Our Fear of) Exposure”

Trumpeter/composer's debut album, a suite inspired by Biblical scripture, is out Aug. 31

Benje Daneman
Benje Daneman (photo: Grant Beachy)

JazzTimes is pleased to present the premiere of “(Our Fear of) Exposure” from the debut album by Benje Daneman and his group SearchParty, Light in the Darkness, to be released Aug. 31 on JCI Records.

Daneman, a trumpeter and composer based in Kalamazoo, Mich., received a commission in 2015 from the nonprofit arts organization Spark+Echo Arts to write the pieces that make up Light in the Darkness. The album is a suite in six movements and four improvisational interludes, with lyrics drawn from passages in the Bible—though Daneman hastens to add that he is not an evangelist. The selected texts, as the album title suggests, deal with the subject of light, used both literally and metaphorically as a symbol for truth, faith, and the gradual discovery of our personal identities.

Besides Daneman on trumpet, SearchParty consists of Ashley Daneman (the leader’s wife) on vocals, Greg Ward (Mike Reed, Linda May Han Oh) on alto saxophone, Rob Clearfield (Matt Ulery) on piano, Andrew Vogt (the Chicago Yestet, Chris Madsen’s Kings of the Lobby) on electric bass, and Jon Deitemyer (Ryan Cohan, Matt Ulery) on drums.

“(Our Fear of) Exposure” is the fifth movement of Light in the Darkness. It centers, Daneman says, on “one of our biggest fears, being found out. There’s something within us that we just don’t want people to know. It’s not a dark tune—it feels very simple. It’s a look into what is most fearful for us. The piece moves into a collective improvisation, a gradual crescendo. Once we look into the depths of who we are, once we can recognize that, then maybe we can become a little bit more free.”

Don’t be alarmed by the sudden ending of this track; on the album, “(Our Fear of) Exposure” immediately segues into the next piece.

Look for a feature story on Benje Daneman in the October issue of JazzTimes.

Originally Published