Ben Monder


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This is a difficult set to warm up to. Guitarist Ben Monder's dry sound, which at times recalls Pat Martino and Bill Frisell without sounding derivative, is both subtle and versatile. The music on his sparse trio set with bassist Ben Street and drummer Jim Black (all originals by the leader except for a quiet "I'll Remember April") sometimes makes one think of the ECM sound. Monder's playing ranges from introspective to rocking, and is adventurous while remaining tied to each piece's original mood. One certainly respects Monder's music, but it generally lacks much warmth or wit.

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