The debut live performance by The Mars Williams Quartet (Mars Williams, Kent Kessler, Peter Maunu and myself) is now available to stream for free. It includes both of our full sets from Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago, recorded Monday, July 22nd, 2015 as part of the OPTION series. Check it out below!
We will be back in Chicago at The Owl on Sunday, October 25th. See you there…
I had a killer time in Chicago on Monday trading blows with the always-incredible Mars Williams, and it was a sheer pleasure meeting and playing with the excellent Peter Maunu and Kent Kessler. Huge thanks to Mars, everyone at Experimental Sound Studio, Tim Daisy and Ken Vandermark for their support and enthusiasm. I can’t wait until the next round…above and below are some choice photos by Dan Mohr. Thanks Dan!
Additionally, the Lech gig at MSG was also a very cool time (as always – thanks Derek), and last night’s all-solos gig with my longtime homie Pete Fosco and new homie Kate Wakefield was a lot of fun as well. A very big thank you to all of you who support me with your eyes and ears on a regular basis – it means a lot!
Next up – duo LP recording and a gig in Asheville with the inimitable Tashi Dorji! Stoked to witness his free-rock duo Manas with Thom Nguyen as well…
This is my first update in a little while and I’m really excited about this one: announcing the debut of the Mars Williams Quartet! From Mars’ website:
“A new quartet organized by Chicago based multi-reedist and composer Mars Williams, featuring Peter Maunu on guitar and pedals, veteran Chicago bassist Kent Kessler and Bloomington, IN-based drummer Tyler Damon. This brand new ensemble makes it’s debut performance at OPTION for what is sure to be two sets of fantastic open ended improvisations.”
For those unfamiliar with Mars’ work, here’s a slice of his stunning résumé:
“Mars Williams is an open-minded musician, composer and educator who commutes easily between free jazz, funk, hip-hop and rock, Mars has played and recorded with The Psychedelic Furs, Billy Idol, Massacre, Fred Frith, Bill Laswell, Ministry, Power Station, Die Warzau, The Waitresses, Kiki Dee, Pete Cosey, Billy Squier, DJ Logic, Wayne Kramer, John Scoffield, Charlie Hunter, Kurt Elling, Swollen Monkeys, Mike Clark, Jerry Garcia, Naked Raygun, Friendly Fires, The Untouchables, Blow Monkeys and virtually every leading figure of Chicago’s and New York City’s “downtown” scene.
John Zorn credits Mars as “one of the true saxophone players–someone who takes pleasure in the sheer act of blowing the horn. This tremendous enthusiasm is an essential part of his sound, and it comes through each note every time he plays. Whatever the situation, Mars plays exciting music. In many ways he has succeeded in redefining what versatility means to the modern saxophone player.”
Hope to see you out there on the 22nd!