Mars Williams, a saxophone participant recognized for his work as a member of the Waitresses and later the Psychedelic Furs, died Monday at age 68.
His hometown newspaper the Chicago Tribune first confirmed Williams’ passing and reported that the explanation for lack of life was ampullary most cancers. Williams was acknowledged with the unusual most cancers a 12 months up to now.
Williams’ sax was a key ingredient of the Waitresses by way of the group’s fast nonetheless impactful two-album tenure in 1980-83, heard on the signature songs “Christmas Wrapping,” “Sq. Pegs” and “I Know What Boys Like” along with saxophone-heavy deep cuts identical to the title monitor of their “Bruiseology” LP.
The Waitresses’ reduce up roughly coincided with Williams being requested by the Psychedelic Furs asking him to take a seat down in for his or her absent resident sax man on an overseas tour in 1983, which grow to be a tenure that extended by 1989. He then resumed his work with the Furs from 2005 by his remaining tour dates with the band, which wrapped up merely last month October.
Most of Williams’ work fell on the jazz aspect, nonetheless, considerably with ensembles with an experimental bent.
Among the many many dozens of groups he carried out with, Williams was for 25 years a member of the Chicago group Liquid Soul, which picked up a Grammy nomination for biggest updated jazz file in 2001. “Poised to rattle your headspace, Chicago’s premier funk-jazz ensemble Liquid Soul have been combining bebop with hip-hop since 1994 with muscular horns, tongue-cutting rappers, and turntable-infested rhythms,” wrote the Village Voice.
Downtown jazz legend John Zorn wrote liner notes for an album Williams did with Hal Russell in 1984 and often known as him “one among many true saxophone players — any person who takes pleasure inside the sheer act of blowing the horn. This massive enthusiasm is a needed part of his sound, and it comes by each phrase every time he performs. Whatever the state of affairs, Mars performs thrilling music. In some methods he has succeeded in redefining what versatility means to the modern saxophone participant.”
Among the many many rock and jazz musicians Williams carried out with reside or on file, as listed on his website online, have been Billy Idol (on the “Rebel Yell” tour), the Killers, Power Station, Wayne Kramer, Ministry, Bill Laswell, Charlie Hunter, Dirty Projectors, Billy Squier, DJ Logic, John Scoffield, Kurt Elling, Jerry Garcia and the Untouchables.
Williams’ distinctive sensibility might presumably be current in how yearly, up by 2022, he led what was billed as “an Ayler Xmas Tour,” combining the music of free-jazz good Albert Ayler with Christmas carols.
Williams led or participated in numerous totally different ensembles as successfully, along with the NRG Ensemble, Trio No Mas, the Chicago Reed Quartet, the Mars Williams Music Information Orchestra and Boneshaker. Amongst his better-heard newest recordings was a sax solo on Kesha’s cowl of “Children of the Revolution” on a T. Rex tribute album produced by the late Hal Willner.
The musician was born in Elmhurst, Illinois in 1955 and bought right here up having fun with classical clarinet for 10 years, beneath the have an effect on of his trumpet-playing father, sooner than switching to saxophone. He cited Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker as his first principal influences, falling beneath the sway of Ornette Coleman afterward.
Williams had been sober for 20 years and was energetic with serving to struggling fellow musicians by the MusiCares program.
A gift this coming Saturday night time time at Chicago’s Metro had been designed as a revenue for his medical care, nonetheless will now operate a celebration-of-life event. Richard Butler, Zachary Alford and Rich Good of Psychedelic Furs, Ike Reilly and Jeff Coffin of the Dave Matthews Band are anticipated to take a seat down in on a dwell efficiency led by Williams’ longtime bandmates in Liquid Soul.
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