Downtown music impressario Glenn Leslie sits down with legendary jazz guitarist Bern Nix to discuss issues small and large in the world of jazz. Nix is humble and wise, does not suffer fools (specially in the music business), has the amusingly cynical tone familiar to working musicians, has a sharp historical viewpoint, and picks a number tracks to illustrate the conversation.
Bern Nix studied music and graduated with a degree in music education from the Berklee College of Music. Since 1985, he has led The Bern Nix Trio. Before leading his Trio, Bern performed and recorded with Ornette Coleman from 1975 to 1987 as an original member of the Prime Time Band. The Prime Time Band recorded six albums including Dancing in Your Head, Of Human Feelings and Body Meta and performed hundreds of concerts around the world. The Bern Nix Trio's first recording, Alarms and Excursions (New World Records) was released in 1993, making many top ten critics lists. Nix has performed with artists such as, Ornette Coleman, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Elliott Sharp, Jemeel Moondoc, Ronald Shannon Jackson, James Chance, Jayne Cortez and Kip Hanrahan. Hailed as one of the greatest jazz guitarists of our time, Bern was voted among the top ten jazz guitarists poll by Down Beat magazine.
A detailed transcript full of discussion about his own influences and further observations on music including a discussion of Ornette Colman's Harmolodic theory, of which Bern Nix is a master, appears online at allaboutjazz.com.