Originality is a rare commodity. That Ben Monder sounds original on electric guitar and fully retains the listener's interest for a full hour of recording is in itself an accomplishment. For his debut album, this very talented improviser and composer performs three solo pieces and seven others with his trio. And what a trio it is! Somehow, they manage to successfully immerse themselves in complex abstraction without sacrificing accessibility. Monster drummer Jim Black is never at a loss for ideas, which flow endlessly from his sticks. Bassist Drew Gress is a popular leader and sideman in his own right and his focused, driving, yet eclectic playing is evident throughout. Monder's rock influences persevere, though his solo pieces display a unique, often astonishing technique that transcends style. His pristine tone, combined with sophisticated ideas, makes him a musician to watch.