NY Times: "Ben Monder and David Torn, Jazz Guitarists Unafraid to Wrestle With Darkness"
Can a jazz guitarist touch the void? What role can darkness play in improvised music, which has historically been built on a spirit of earnest collaboration and bright, restorative energy?
The guitarists Ben Monder and David Torn have been building their musical legacies for over three decades, and both approach those questions in their work. But listen to their latest albums — Mr. Torn’s pummeling, acid-drenched “Sun of Goldfinger,” which came out last month; Mr. Monder’s moody and entrancing double CD, “Day After Day,” due out Friday — and you’ll find two very different ways of answering.
Mr. Monder uses only a modest rack of pedals, and his music is elegantly determined and precise. Mr. Torn’s goes the other way: multidirectional, constantly adding conflict to already precarious situations. If Mr. Monder’s music stares into the void, Mr. Torn’s seems as if it’s just been released from it, and is now fleeing in search of safer ground.