Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

456

Ben Monder: Dust

By

Sign in to view read count
Guitarist Ben Monder's sophomore effort, originally recorded for Arabesque in 1997 and now reissued by Sunnyside, covers all the ground from free, ambient and discordant to tight, together and melodically upbeat.

Most of Monder's work (in fact, much of his best work) has been as a sideman; he has only released two albums as a leader since this record first came out. A veteran of Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band and Lee Konitz's New Nonet, Monder plays with an old school pedigree in a manner that is ahead of his time.

Monder's trio on Dust includes drummer Jim Black and bassist Ben Street. Like Monder, Street is a veteran of avant ensembles led by saxophonist Tim Berne and the aforementioned Konitz. Black has also performed with Berne in his Bloodcount ensemble. Following his work on Dust, Black began his adventures in space-rock avant-jazz experimentation with his AlasNoAxis group.

The opening cut, "Sleep, revolves around a sugary pop refrain. The tune shuffles and swings on the weight of Black's drumming—which, as a drummer myself, absolutely floored me. Black plays with the ferocity of Elvin Jones, exhibiting both precision and power, barely letting up, even when Monder's playing becomes more delicate. "Silent Neighbors is a little more subdued and slightly freer—more of a duet between Monder and Street. On "Thethird Eyebrow, Monder's guitar meanders in the distance, absentmindedly wandering to the rhythm of the bass and drums.

The nearly eleven-minute title track begins with Monder delicately plucking a tune by himself, before he's joined by Street's solemn bass. "In Memoriam, though deliberately subdued, is where Monder's playing begins to wear thin. This trio is at its best when all three members are engaged.

Trio records can go one of two ways: they either become a showcase for one particular player's overwhelming talent (like Eri Yamamoto's recent Cobalt Blue) or a dynamic conversation between three equally talented and thematically in-tune musicians. Dust definitely falls in the latter category. This isn't Monder's show per se; all three players push and pull the songs in varying directions, following no real leader.

While Monder's best work may be as a sideman, interested listeners may wish to check out Dust in order to see the artist in his early stages.


Track Listing: Sleep; Silent Neighbors; Thethird Eyebrow; Dust; In Memoriam; I'll Remember April; Gemini; Late Green.

Personnel: Ben Monder: guitars; Ben Street: bass; Jim Black: drums.

Title: Dust | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Catching Up With
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Amorphae

Amorphae

ECM Records
2015

buy
Hydra

Hydra

Sunnyside Records
2013

buy
Bloom

Bloom

Sunnyside Records
2010

buy
 

Labyrinth

www.matchboxrecordings.co.uk
2009

buy
 

At Night

Songlines Recordings
2008

buy
Excavation

Excavation

Sunnyside Records
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read Drum Solos For Dancers Only CD/LP/Track Review
Drum Solos For Dancers Only
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 18, 2018
Read Kikoeru - Tribute to Masaya Kimura CD/LP/Track Review
Kikoeru - Tribute to Masaya Kimura
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 18, 2018
Read His Flight's At Ten CD/LP/Track Review
His Flight's At Ten
by John Sharpe
Published: December 18, 2018
Read First Lines CD/LP/Track Review
First Lines
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 18, 2018
Read Live At Cafe Amores CD/LP/Track Review
Live At Cafe Amores
by John Sharpe
Published: December 18, 2018
Read The Tale CD/LP/Track Review
The Tale
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 17, 2018
Read "Live at Van Gelder's" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Van Gelder's
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 6, 2018
Read "Dear Friend" CD/LP/Track Review Dear Friend
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: July 28, 2018
Read "Clareia" CD/LP/Track Review Clareia
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: January 9, 2018
Read "Beggar’s Banquet 50th Anniversary Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Beggar’s Banquet 50th Anniversary Edition
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 15, 2018
Read "Congo" CD/LP/Track Review Congo
by Chris May
Published: April 28, 2018
Read "Fast Friends" CD/LP/Track Review Fast Friends
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 27, 2018