Day After Day: an espresso with Ben Monder

Image Credits: Ben Monder @ John Rogers.

July 9, 2019

Solo guitar

 

Ben Monder is an American guitarist who, through numerous collaborations with artists such as Paul Motian, Lee Konitz, David Bowie, Dave Liebman and many others, has proven to be a very versatile artist and at the same time to have a personal and strong style.

> Ivano Rossato


Can you tell us how Day After Day was born?
Some years ago I started adding pop tunes I knew and loved to my trio repertoire. I found that many of them served well as improvisational vehicles, and they fit well alongside the more traditional standards. When I received a grant from The Shifting Foundation in 2014 to record an album, I thought I would take the opportunity to document some of this material, which until then I had only performed on gigs.
 

I think all great artists have in common is that they have transcended their styles and even their instruments in achieving a personal voice.

How did you choose the songs to play?
I have had a long history with most of the tunes on this record, but each has a different story. "Long, Long, Long" has always been one of my favorite tunes from the White Album, but it seems relatively under-appreciated, and I don't think I've ever heard it covered. We recorded at least five Jimmy Webb tunes at this session, but "Galveston" was the only one that made the final cut. I am a huge fan of early Fleetwood Mac, and  Bare Trees is maybe my favorite album of their "middle" period. The haunting Danny Kirwan tune "Dust" has a special resonance for me. Someone suggested the Carpenters song "Only Yesterday", and sure enough it is a great tune to play on, with engaging, unusual harmonies and a long, interesting form. The Carpenters were a staple of our household growing up, mostly due to my brother's love of them. Another early and influential record for me was Joe Cocker's "With A Little Help From My Friends". My mother bought it when it came out in 1969, so I've been listening to it since I was like 7. It remains one of my favorite rock records ever; just a masterpiece in every respect. My take on Bob Dylan's "Just Like a Woman" is mostly based on this version, with some Roberta Flack thrown in as well.
 
 
How you decided to do them in solo or in trio?
The idea for the solo arrangements was borne from the fact that I originally did not think I had enough from the trio session that I was happy with to constitute a complete album. I had originally planned to mix the two sessions, alternate trio and solo tunes, because I thought that the contrast was important, but my co-producer Patrick Zimmerli thought it was important to preserve and value the different qualities of the two sessions, and convinced me that they could each stand on their own as statements. In hindsight I believe he was right.
The solo pieces are all tunes that I find inspiring and that suggested certain settings. The Messiaen piece was actually a recommendation from Matt Brewer, which I pretty much play straight. "Emily” is inspired by Jimmy Wyble's two line improvisation technique. "Windows of the World" is a specific request from David Breskin of the Shifting Foundation, and it has become one of my favorite Bacharach tunes. The treatment is sort of a tone poem depicting the sad and tortured theme of the piece.
 
 
As a teacher, what do you think is the most important lesson to teach a young musician?
To work with patience, focus, and diligence. To be consistent. To be able to delay gratification. And to break free from the need for extrinsic validation in forging one's own path.
 
What projects are you working on for the future?
I'm currently working on writing an album of original music with pieces for solo guitar, trio and quartet with voice. Optimistically speaking, I should be ready to record within a couple of years.
 
 

 

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Day After Day: an espresso with Ben Monder copyright Jazzespresso 2019.
Reservados todos los derechos – All rights reserved – 版權所有 – 版权所有
ABOUT US / 關於我們 / 关于我们 / NOSOTROS
[Subscribe to JazzEspresso Newsletter if you want to be always kept posted!]
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Jazzespresso es una revista, un sitio web, una red, un centro, que conecta todas las almas del jazz de todo el mundo. América, Europa, Asia, Australia y África: noticias de todo el mundo en una página en cuatro idiomas. Un punto de referencia multicultural en inglés, chino y castellano para los amantes de esta música en todos los países. Para el aficionado o el profesional que quiere mantenerse informado sobre lo que está ocurriendo en todo el mundo. Manténganse informados!
Jazzespresso is a magazine, a website, a network, a hub, connecting all the souls of jazz all over the world. Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa: news from all over the world on a page in four languages. A multicultural reference point in English, Chinese and Spanish language for the lovers of this music in every country. For the amateur or the pro who wants to be updated about what is happening all around the world... Stay tuned.
Jazzespresso 不只是一個爵士樂雜誌,也是一個能將擁有各種不同精髓的世界爵士樂,包括美洲、歐洲、亞洲、澳洲及非洲各地,互相連結起來的網站及交流站。以中文及英文寫成的內容將是一個新的多元文化交流的參考點,為各地的爵士音樂愛好者提供來自全世界最新的消息。請持續關注!
JazzEspresso 不只是一个爵士乐杂誌,也是一个能将拥有各种不同精髓的世界爵士乐,包括美洲、欧洲、亚洲、澳洲及非洲各地,互相连结起来的网站及交流站。以中文及英文写成的内容将是一个新的多元文化交流的参考点,为各地的爵士音乐爱好者提供来自全世界最新的消息。请持续关注!

Passionate and Soulful: an espresso with Kirk Fletcher

Image Credits: Ben Monder @ John Rogers.

July 9, 2019

Solo guitar

 

Ben Monder is an American guitarist who, through numerous collaborations with artists such as Paul Motian, Lee Konitz, David Bowie, Dave Liebman and many others, has proven to be a very versatile artist and at the same time to have a personal and strong style.

> Ivano Rossato


Can you tell us how Day After Day was born?
Some years ago I started adding pop tunes I knew and loved to my trio repertoire. I found that many of them served well as improvisational vehicles, and they fit well alongside the more traditional standards. When I received a grant from The Shifting Foundation in 2014 to record an album, I thought I would take the opportunity to document some of this material, which until then I had only performed on gigs.
 
 
 

-

Day After Day: an espresso with Ben Monder copyright Jazzespresso 2019.
Reservados todos los derechos – All rights reserved – 版權所有 – 版权所有
ABOUT US / 關於我們 / 关于我们 / NOSOTROS
[Subscribe to JazzEspresso Newsletter if you want to be always kept posted!]
Info: info@jazzespresso.com
Advertising / 廣告 / 广告 / Publicidad: adv@jazzespresso.com.
 
Jazzespresso es una revista, un sitio web, una red, un centro, que conecta todas las almas del jazz de todo el mundo. América, Europa, Asia, Australia y África: noticias de todo el mundo en una página en cuatro idiomas. Un punto de referencia multicultural en inglés, chino y castellano para los amantes de esta música en todos los países. Para el aficionado o el profesional que quiere mantenerse informado sobre lo que está ocurriendo en todo el mundo. Manténganse informados!
Jazzespresso is a magazine, a website, a network, a hub, connecting all the souls of jazz all over the world. Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa: news from all over the world on a page in four languages. A multicultural reference point in English, Chinese and Spanish language for the lovers of this music in every country. For the amateur or the pro who wants to be updated about what is happening all around the world... Stay tuned.
Jazzespresso 不只是一個爵士樂雜誌,也是一個能將擁有各種不同精髓的世界爵士樂,包括美洲、歐洲、亞洲、澳洲及非洲各地,互相連結起來的網站及交流站。以中文及英文寫成的內容將是一個新的多元文化交流的參考點,為各地的爵士音樂愛好者提供來自全世界最新的消息。請持續關注!
JazzEspresso 不只是一个爵士乐杂誌,也是一个能将拥有各种不同精髓的世界爵士乐,包括美洲、欧洲、亚洲、澳洲及非洲各地,互相连结起来的网站及交流站。以中文及英文写成的内容将是一个新的多元文化交流的参考点,为各地的爵士音乐爱好者提供来自全世界最新的消息。请持续关注!

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