Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Guitarist Ben Monder has secured his place as one of most identifiable and sought-after stylists on the progressive jazz scene, an heir to the ethereal yet edgy approach of players such as John Abercrombie and Bill Frisell. Schooled at the University of Miami and Queens College, Monder has been active as a sideman since 1984, working with Jack McDuff, Marc Johnson, David Binney, Paul Motian, Lee Konitz, Toots Thielemans, and Maria Schneider, to name a few. He has also recorded and performed in groups led by Drew Gress, Guillermo Klein, Reid Anderson, Bill McHenry, Patrick Zimmerli, Tim Ries, Donny McCaslin, Frank Kimbrough, singer/songwriter Jane Kelly Williams, and the Basque rock artist Ruper Ordorika. Monder released his own trio's debut, Flux (featuring bassist Gress and drummer Jim Black), in 1995. A collaboration with vocalist Theo Bleckmann, titled No Boat, appeared a year later. Dust, Monder's second trio outing (with bassist Ben Street replacing Gress), came out in 1997, followed by Excavation (with Bleckmann, Black, and electric bassist Skuli Sverrisson) in 2000. Monder returned in 2005 with Oceana (with Bleckmann, Sverrisson, bassist Kermit Driscoll, and drummer Ted Poor). In 2009, Monder paired with saxophonist Bill McHenry for the duo album Bloom. In 2013, the guitarist favored a larger group sound with the expansive studio album Hydra (with Bleckmann, Sverrisson, Poor, bassist John Pattitucci, and vocalists Gian Slater and Martha Cluver).