Ben Monder: The Third Eyebrow


The Third Eyebrow


Ben Monder (guitar)


Dust (Arabesque 131)

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Ben Monder (guitar),

Ben Street (bass), Jim Black (drums)


Composed by Ben Monder


Recorded: December 11-12, 1996


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Ben Monder has rather quietly built one of the strongest reputations among New York guitarists of the last 20 years, performing regularly with Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, and tenorman Bill McHenry. Monder's masterful combination of complex linear runs, polytonal chord work, and unorthodox techniques earn him the ultimate musical compliment of having fashioned a completely original voice on his instrument. Predictably, his recordings as a leader best represent his overall style, and his two early records with bassist Ben Street and drummer Jim Black, Flux (1995) and Dust (1997), are career highlights. On "The Third Eyebrow," the group effortlessly weaves in and out of 11/8 time, with Elvin-isms aplenty from Black and the foundational odd-meter bassline from the ever-steady Street. Monder provides hypnotic atmospheric chords up front, followed by his trademark linear lines that twist and turn in the most unforeseen ways. Check out how his already dramatic solo does a complete 360 at the 3:35 mark. Modern jazz of the highest order.

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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