AYLER XMAS TOUR 2017
Mars Williams presents: An Ayler Xmas
The music of Albert Ayler & songs of Chrismas
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, Willams 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
For the last two of years, along with the annual Chicago performances, Williams experimented by performing “An Ayler Xmas” in New Orleans, using local musicians. The performances were incredibly successful!
This year, featuring local improvisers from each host city, Williams expands his project by bringing it to select cities in Europe & the US.
Dec. 1– Hollyoke, MA
Dec. 2– Newburg, NY
Dec. 4– NYC
Dec. 8– New Orleans
Dec. 10 – Chicago
Dec. 15 – Vienna
Dec. 16 – Wells, Austria
Dec. 17 – Paris
Dec. 20 – Antwerp
Dec. 23 – Amsterdam
AYLER XMAS MUSICIANS 2017
Dec. 1 – Hollyoke, MA
Dec. 2 – Jazz @ Atlas, Newburg, NY
Dec. 4 – The Stone, NYC
DEC. 8 – THE MINT, NEW ORLEANS
DEC. 10 – HUNGRY BRAIN, CHICAGO
DEC. 14 – PORGY & BESS, VIENNA
DEC. 16 – WELLS
DEC. 17 – ATELIER TAMPON NOMADE, PARIS
DEC. 23 – BIMHUIS, AMSTERDAM