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Aaron Shragge & Ben Monder: This World of Dew (Human Resource)

Because the dewdrop is both beautiful and fleeting, it has been used in Buddhist teaching as a metaphor for the impermanence of existence. In the haiku that gave This World of Dew its title, the Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa makes a similar point but adds, “and yet, and yet”—a comment that speaks to the sense of … Read More “Aaron Shragge & Ben Monder: This World of Dew (Human Resource)”

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Ben Monder: Amorphae

Ben Monder’s ECM debut as a leader was produced by Sun Chung, not Manfred Eicher. But from the opening solo guitar track, “Tendrils,” it is clear that Amorphae is entirely consistent with the ECM aesthetic. Few other labels trust their artists to work within such ambient quietude and nuance. Few trust their audience to be … Read More “Ben Monder: Amorphae”

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Ben Monder: Hydra

Guitarist-composer Ben Monder’s Hydra, his first album as a leader in eight years, is esoteric but you’d be wrong to file it under “avant-garde”; it’s too technically brilliant and radiantly produced, and its personnel includes postbop and fusion A-listers like John Patitucci. And while it is a demanding recording-Monder is fond of long-form composition, as … Read More “Ben Monder: Hydra”

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