If Ben Monder’s music speaks for itself, it can also be said that he is not big on speaking about it. One colleague called him “a man of many silences.” Even Monder, in an old, outlandish bio, makes a reference to his “sullen demeanor.” On the bandstand he is stationary and expressionless, even as the most extraordinary sounds pour forth from his instrument. He is “a statue of harmonic liberty,” to quote another of his peers.
But despite Monder’s reticence, many can attest to his dry and devastating wit. And those who’ve worked with him tend to agree: He has exhibited some of the most original musical thinking of the present age.