String mavens Bern Nix and Ayman Fanous combine forces in a thorough going synergistic improvisational assault on music from various categories.
The guitarist and former Ornette collaborator with Egyptian bazouki/guitar/flamenco/jazz master in duos and solos.
Bern Nix (September 21, 1947 – May 31, 2017) was an American jazz guitarist. He was a graduate of the Berklee College of Music. Nix led the Bern Nix trio from 1985 until his death in 2017 in New York City. In 1993, the band released the album Alarms and Excursions. The album made many critics’ top ten lists. Nix released the solo album Low Barometer (Tompkins Square) in September 2006. His composition “Les is More” appears on Art and Money, an album released by 1687, Inc. in 2006. In 2013, the Bern Nix Quartet released Negative Capability. Nix’s song “The Fire Within” was on the soundtrack of the film Tangerine directed by Sean Baker. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015. His quartet included Francois Grillot, Reggie Sylvester, and Matt Lavelle and performed over 50 concerts, mostly in New York City. Nix performed with James Chance and the Contortions and appeared on their album Live in New York (1981). He also worked with Jayne Cortez, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Elliott Sharp, Jemeel Moondoc, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Kip Hanrahan, and Lenore Von Stein. —Bio as of 2019
Ayman Fanous has been described as a “master musician/composer pursuing the most imaginative alternatives to the status quo… who has honed distinctive and unconventional methods on both guitar and bouzouki, managing to synergize classical, flamenco, and free jazz techniques” (Karl Ackerman, allaboutjazz.com). His signature sound has been described as a “stylistic amalgam of Derek Bailey and Paco de Lucia” (Jay Collins, Signal to Noise). In addition to the guitar, Fanous also reaches back into his Egyptian ancestry in improvisations on the bouzouki. This is informed by many years of absorbing influences from the musical traditions of the Arab world, Turkey, India, North Africa, Persia, and the Balkans. More recently, he has developed extended electric guitar techniques using a slide. Although he has only recently begun to release recordings, he has led duos, trios, and quartets with numerous world-renowned jazz and improvisational musicians, including Frances-Marie Uitti, Bern Nix, Tomas Ulrich, Jason Hwang, William Parker, Ned Rothenberg, Mark Feldman, Joe McPhee, Denman Maroney, Mat Maneri, Lori Freedman, Greg Howard, Daniel Levin, Kinan Azmeh, Chris Speed, Andrea Parkins, Ikue Mori, Susan Alcorn, and Tatsuya Nakatani. —Bio as of 2019