Michael Fix, Australian composer and guitarist extraordinaire, is known for his solo recordings of grace and technical brilliance that feature his contemporary acoustic compositions, many of which have received major awards. Here, on his 10th recording, he teams up with 13 other guitarists in "dialogues" that go "back and forth like two people chatting." And what a conversation it is -- like attending a brilliant dinner party with sparkling dialogue, witty exchanges, and soulful glances. Included are Fix originals as well as pieces by Chet Atkins, Lennon and McCartney, Sting, Doc Watson -- even a gorgeous rendition of "Danny Boy" paired with "Ashokan Farewell." Every song is a standout. There’s the exquisite "Guanches," written by his duo partner guitarist/composer Andrea Valeri; its riveting eerie opening and chiming descending run shifts into a fast-paced romp with guitar thumping and chordal percussive effects. There’s "Martina," a composition Fix wrote for his sister, where he duets with Tony Emmanuel, rich in melody, countermelody, and deep feeling. "Demolition Derby" is a witty act of bluegrass virtuosic one-upmanship with Brendan Radford. Throughout, following the instruments as they trade foreground and background, as on "Two Guitars" with Justin McCoy, is a delicious pleasure. Fix plays with passion and authenticity; "Two Timing" is a tour de force.
© Céline Keating