Ben Monder: Dust

Seven originals and the standard “I’ll Remember April” are featured on Monder’s debut recording, a trio set with Ben Street on bass and Brooklyn’s own wizard of the beat, Jim Black on drums and percussion. Monder’s fingers have been in numerous and varied musical pies including performances with Paul Motian, Lee Konitz, Toots Thielemans, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and Brother Jack McDuff so although he may not be a recognized name in the world of jazz just yet, other musicians certainly know about him. The man can play.

Rather than an exhibition of his chops, he dazzles us with an exploration of the infinite possibilities of the guitar trio. Yet although this is clearly a jazz recording, it’s informed by the sum total of his musical experience in other idioms, including classical and rock.

The rapport between these musicians, and the variety of mood and feel, from the prosaic “Silent Neighbors” to the ambiguous “Gemini,” mark Ben Monder as a composer and guitarist of exquisite musical credentials.