Ben Monder (born May 24, 1962) is an American modern jazz guitarist. Monder started playing guitar when he was eleven, after two years on violin. From 1979–84, he attended the Westchester Conservatory of Music, the University of Miami, and Queens College. One of his early jobs was in 1986 when he performed with Jack McDuff. In 1995 he recorded his debut album, Flux, featuring drummer Jim Black and bassist Drew Gress. This was followed by the trio recording Dust (1996) and the quartet recording Excavation (2000) which added vocalist Theo Bleckmann. Bloom, a 2001 recording (an improvisation recorded in a single day) with saxophone player Bill McHenry, wasn’t released until 2010. In between, he released Oceana (2005), a genre-bending solo album, and The Distance (2006), an album with pianist Chris Gestrin and drummer Dylan van der Schyff. In 2007, he recorded At Night with Theo Bleckmann and drummer Satoshi Takeishi. In 2013, Monder released Hydra on Sunnyside, featuring Bleckmann, John Pattitucci, Skúli Sverrisson, and Ted Poor. He made his debut on ECM Records as a leader with 2016’s Amorphae, and played guitar on David Bowie’s final studio album, Blackstar (2016). He has worked with Lee Konitz, David Bowie, Paul Motian, Chris Cheek, Tim Berne, David Binney, Theo Bleckmann, George Garzone, Jon Gordon, Julie Hardy, John Hollenbeck, Marc Johnson, Frank Kimbrough, Guillermo Klein, Dave Liebman, Michael Leonhart, Rebecca Martin, Donny McCaslin, Bill McHenry, Charles Pillow, Tim Ries, Pete Robbins, Josh Roseman, Maria Schneider, Kendra Shank, Toots Thielemans, Kenny Wheeler, Dan Willis, Miguel Zenón, and Patrick Zimmerli.
Day After Day by Ben Morder, Bandcamp, 2022 on #neuguitars #blog
Creating a distinctive voice and approach on a musical instrument is as difficult as it is rare. Guitarist Ben Monder has long been admired for his personal sound, remarkable command of the guitar, and stylistic versatility. His new recording, Day After Day (a two disc set), provides a look at two distinct sides of his artistic nature, the highly analytical, structural side and the more freely improvisational side, through a series of interpretations of cover material.
The idea of presenting a collection of arrangements of other composers’ works had long been a goal for Monder, but one that until now had not been realized. In 2014, he was awarded a grant from The Shifting Foundation, and saw this as an opportunity to finally pursue this vision. For a few months he sequestered himself in an apartment in Saugerties, New York, and began the process of writing the arrangements that would ultimately find their way onto this release. Most of the selections are tunes dear to his heart, many taken from records he listened to in childhood.
Ben Monder continues to broaden and expand his musical palette. Day After Day allows listeners to hear his ever-evolving language in a variety of contexts, displaying the many sides of this highly individual and important musical voice.
released April 12, 2019
Ben Monder – guitar
Matt Brewer – bass (Disc 2)
Ted Poor – drums (Disc 2)