A stunning achievement
email@example.com | Dallas, Tx. | 12/21/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone who has yet to experience Ben Monder is in for a real treat. A long-standing member of the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, this guy possesses a gift for composition that is equal to his improvisational gift, which, as far as I'm concerned, is unparalleled by any other guitarist I've ever heard. Ben is a miracle. That fact is made evident on every single track of "Dust". This music is not about "chops", although Ben's got technique that the rest of can only dream of; it is, rather, about the exploration and execution of the ingredients that make great music, and there are melodies and harmonies here that will haunt as well as inspire (check out "In Memoriam"). As for Ben Street (bass) and Jim Black (drums and percussion), these two obviously share the same muse with Ben as their individual ideas blend marvellously together with the guitarist's to create a cohesive and unified sound. This album is a must for anyone who knows and loves truly great music."
Ben Monder is a modern jazz marvel!
J. Rich | 12/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Dust" released in 1997 is one of the best trio recordings I've heard in a long time. Not only is he an amazing guitarist with an original voice, but his compositions are very well thoughtout and are very deep. He's the kind of guitarist that surpasses so many us other guitarists in the respect that he doesn't seem to get trapped in the mundane aspects of the instrument. Monder is obviously fascinated with classical music. He arranges his compositions, especially on the longer epic type songs like the title track, like a classical composer would. His guitar playing is a cross between Bill Frisell, Pat Metheny, John Abercrombie, Jim Hall, Ralph Towner, and George Van Epps. He creates very complex music that's accessible, which is a feat within itself.
This album is representative of where he's going in the future. Albums like the recently released "Oceana" and "Excavation" are different due to the inclusion of Theo Blackmann on vocals, but both these albums are nothing like "Dust" and "Flux." His mood on this album is definitely dark, but all Monder's albums have a dark vibe to them that give each album it's own incredible light and unique quality. Every song on here is worth mentioning. Some highlights for me where "Sleep," "The Third Eyebrow," "In Memoriam," "Silent Neighbors," and "Dust."
Monder's tone on this album is also darker than "Flux," which had more of a brighter tone. Ben is backed by two incredible musicians: Jim Black on drums and Ben Street on bass. They provide a very powerful rhythm section and are there with Monder as he creates his walls of sound.
"Dust" is for any serious jazz fan, but I don't recommend this album for those jazz purists out there that feel jazz has to be a certain way. This isn't straight-forward jazz, then again, Monder doesn't play straight-forward jazz anyway."