Vocalist Theo Bleckmann and guitarist Ben Monder have been performing together in duo for over 12 years touring the US, Europe and Asia.. They have created a close working relationship in which they workshop and develop new compositions for voice and guitar. Their repertoire extends the common format of voice and guitar, which they refract through their personal aesthetic. Together they have created a unique approach to what might be called jazz art song, blurring the boundaries between jazz, classical, ambient and rock. Bleckmann's vocal style is based on a thorough understanding of the jazz vocal tradition (he is a protege of Sheila Jordans) as well as extend vocal techniques (he has been a principal in Meredith Monks Vocal Ensemble since 1994). He also uses electronic looping and processing in order to create choral and textural soundscapes.
Monder, who is a regular with the Maria Schneider Orchestra and Paul Motions band, has developed a compositional style is in large part guided by an attempt to reflect his diverse musical influences through the medium of the guitar. There is an effort to exploit the full textural potential of the guitar, and therefore his playing is influenced as much by classical technique as jazz. The duos continued collaborations on both Bleckmanns Origami and Monders Excavation and Oceana have garnered great critical acclaim world-wide. Phil DiPietro from allaboutjazz.com wrote: "...a searing unison interplay between Monder and Bleckmann - either they rehearsed this passage for months or they have developed a familial telepathy from their years of collaboration."
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