The Music of Albert Ayler & Songs of Christmas

Mars Williams - saxophones, flutes, toys
Jaimie Branch - trumpet, toys, electronics
Knox Chandler
- e-guitar, electronics
Mark Tokar
- double bass
Klaus Kugel
- drums

Upcoming cd on
NotTwo Records

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Upcoming concerts 2019

December-2/3, Zaporizhia, Metallurgov House Of Culture (UA)
December-4, Warsaw, Pardon To Tu (PL)

December-5, Villach, Kulturhof:keller (AT)
December-6, St. Johann, Alte Gerberei (AT) **
December-7, Vienna, Blue Tomato (AT) **

[** w/ Thomas Berghammer (tp) instead of Jaimie Branch]

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[photo by Bernd Scholkemper]


Mars Williams presents: An Ayler Xmas
The Music of Albert Ayler & Songs of Christmas

For many years Witches & Devils, the long-running Albert Ayler tribute band led by saxophonist Mars Williams, have existed mostly as an excuse to get together and perform an annual Chicago holiday concert.

For these memorable concerts, Williams merges a variety of Christmas songs with the indelible repertoire of free-jazz titan Ayler, who brought a scalding intensity to tunes rooted in gospel and spirituals. It may sound silly, but the performances are no joke, and they produce a seriously joyful noise. The band tackles warhorses like “O Tannenbaum” and “12 Days of Christmas” in the same smoldering fashion as their take on Ayler: the rhythm section bubbles and generates a kind of levitating intensity during the wonderfully expressive, multilinear theme statements, while the horns state familiar melodies in loose cries and the embellished lines of each player pull apart and coalesce in a naturalistic frenzy. Williams designs clever medleys that appropriate the pulse and feel of particular Ayler tunes as the band rips through a greatest-hits lineup of holiday tracks.

- Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

+49 173 25 450 25