Josh Berman


Josh Berman is an internationally recognized cornetist and composer. He has led the acclaimed Old Idea, Josh Berman and his Gang, and his own trio. In addition to being an indispensable contributor to Chicago’s jazz and improvised music scene, Berman has been a concert presenter with fellow Chicagoan Mike Reed, producing hundreds of shows over the past 20 years. Berman’s work has been critically acclaimed in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, JazzTimes, and DownBeat, among others. His recordings can be found on the Chicago’s legendary Delmark Records and more recently on Austin’s Astral Spirits Records

Mars Williams presents: An Ayler Xmas | Witches & Devils

Sunday | 02 December 2018
Hungry Brain - 9:00pm

A product of the creative music movement started by organizations such as the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians & the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, saxophonist Mars Williams studied with AACM founders Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell. Williams is most famous as a member of The Psychedelic Furs but has proven his jazz bona fides with Peter Brötzmann and Ken Vandermark and while guiding Liquid Soul and Hal Russell’s NRG Ensemble, to name just a few. His rock CV is also varied, including many years in Akron New Wave band The Waitresses and work with Billy Idol, Ministry, Massacre, and many more. He also leads the Albert Ayler tribute band Witches & Devils, and out of their holiday concerts grew a unique tradition. One look at this album’s track titles and you’ll understand the concept here. One listen and you’ll hear that, as odd as that concept may seem, it’s brilliantly effective, with the disparate melodies working together in their common projection of joy and celebration. And it’s worth noting that Williams’s worlds collide on track 3 here, featuring The Waitresses’ biggest hit, “Christmas Wrapping.” Williams played on their original recording. After enjoying An Ayler Xmas vol. 1 last year, ESP invited him to make vol. 2 a co-release ofWilliams’s Soul What Records and ESP-Disk’, the top Ayler label. Mars will be supporting the release with both Witches & Devils’ annual Xmas show and tours in the U.S. and Europe using renowned local musicians.

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


Featuring Witches & Devils:
Mars Williams – Sax, Toy Instruments
Josh Berman – Cornet
Jim Baker – Piano, Viola, Arp Synth
Kent Kessler – Bass
Steve Hunt – Drums
Brian Sandstrom – Bass, Guitar, Trumpet