The Squid's Ear Magazine


Williams, Mars / Hamid Drake: I Know You Are But What Am I? (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

The second of three archival albums from late saxophonist Mars Williams' vaults, this 1996 recording is a rare duet with Chicago drummer Hamid Drake, and is also one of the first concerts of the Empty Bottle Jazz and Improvised Music series, a diverse set of four improvisations marked by energetic enthusiasm, doubling of reeds, and wild playing from both.
 

Price: $13.95



Quantity:

In Stock

Quantity in Basket: None

Log In to use our Wish List
Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

Sample The Album:





product information:

Personnel:



Mars Williams-reeds

Hamid Drake-drums


Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.




Label: Corbett vs. Dempsey
Catalog ID: CvsDCD105
Squidco Product Code: 34437

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2024
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded live at The Empty Bottle, in Chicago, Illinois, on December 11th, 1996, By Malachi Ritscher.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"One of three CDs on Chicago's Corbett vs. Dempsey label from the archives of Mars Williams. These previously unreleased recordings document diverse parts of Williams' wildly eclectic oeuvre.

Several months before his untimely death, multi-instrumentalist Mars Williams (1955-2023) reached out to CvsD and asked if we would issue three very special live recordings from his vaults. These include a 1996 concert in Utrecht, Holland, by the NRG Ensemble, the band that Williams inherited from Hal Russell when the latter died in 1992. In NRG circles, this recording is widely regarded as a pinnacle achievement. The band was playing original material by Williams and Ken Vandermark, and they were in top shape, carrying on the wildly inventive, slyly subversive mix of musical directions that Russell had initiated when he formed the band back in 1979.

Another recording comes from 1996, this one a rare duet with drummer Hamid Drake, made in one of the first concerts of the Empty Bottle Jazz and Improvised Music series, in Chicago. Drake and Williams had deep parallels in their personal histories, coming up at the same time in similar musical spheres, rising on the Chicago scene simultaneously in the late '70s while maintaining busy international calendars, touring extensively with different projects including some outside of the realm of improvised music.

The final CD comes from an exceptionally singular night in 2012 at Chicago's Elastic Arts Foundation, a trio formation with bassist Darin Gray and drummer Chris Corsano. Williams felt strongly enough about this concert that he had already posted one set on Bandcamp, but he held back the other set for this incredible posthumous series of archival releases.

With these beautiful records, released in limited edition, CvsD celebrates the productive life of one of improvised music's great figures, someone that John Zorn once wrote had "succeeded in redefining what versatility means to the modern saxophone player." Mars was that and much more. We miss him dearly. These CDs will help keep him in our thoughts and in our ears."-Corbett Vs. Dempsey


Artist Biographies

"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."

In 2001 Mars received a Grammy Nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Record with his group Liquid Soul.

Despite his busy touring schedule with Liquid Soul and The Psychedelic Furs, Mars manages to stay active on the Chicago underground improvising scene. In recent years he has toured and recorded with the Peter Brötzmann Tentet, Switchback, Full Blast, Scorch Trio, the Vandermark 5, Boneshaker, Chicago Reed Quartet and Cinghiale, teaming him with such musicians as Ken Vandermark, Hamid Drake, Michael Zerang, William Parker, Ikue Mori, Kent Kessler, Fredric Lonberg Holm, Peter Brotzmann, Joe McPhee, Paal Nilssen-Love, Ab Baars, Mike Reed, Jeb Bishop, Harrison Bankhead, Dave Rempis, Kidd Jordan and Matts Gustafson.

He performs weekly in Chicago along with Jim Baker, Steve Hunt, and Brian Sandstrom in the improvising quartet "Extraordinary Popular Delusions". As a bandleader, he continues to perform and record CDs with his own free-jazz groups, the NRG Ensemble, Witches & Devils, Slam, XmarsX, Mars Trio, Boneshaker and The Soul Sonic Sirkus which features improvising musicians and aerial circus performers. Along with Die Warsau's Van Christie, Mars has started Ratking Music, a production company focusing on music for film and television.

In addition to performing and creating music, Mars has been an educator in the field of woodwinds and jazz improvisation for over thirty years. Mars held the position of Woodwind Instructor at Bard College for two years. In the last few years Mars has presented Master classes and clinics to a number of private and public institutions including, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, the University of Chicago, Roosevelt University (Chicago, IL), and June Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art (Auburn, AL)."

-Mars Williams Website (http://www.marswilliams.com/about/)
4/22/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Hamid Drake (born August 3, 1955) is an American jazz drummer and percussionist. He lives in Chicago, IL but spends a great deal of time touring worldwide. By the close of the 1990s, Hamid Drake was widely regarded as one of the best percussionists in jazz and avant improvised music. Incorporating Afro-Cuban, Indian, and African percussion instruments and influence, in addition to using the standard trap set, Drake has collaborated extensively with top free-jazz improvisers. Drake also has performed world music; by the late 70s, he was a member of Foday Musa Suso's Mandingo Griot Society and has played reggae throughout his career.

Drake has worked with trumpeter Don Cherry, pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonists Pharoah Sanders, Fred Anderson, Archie Shepp and David Murray and bassists Reggie Workman and William Parker (in a large number of lineups)

He studied drums extensively, including eastern and Caribbean styles. He frequently plays without sticks; using his hands to develop subtle commanding undertones. His tabla playing is notable for his subtlety and flair. Drake's questing nature and his interest in Caribbean percussion led to a deep involvement with reggae."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamid_Drake)
4/22/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. The Worm (10:20)

2. I Know (8:01)

3. You Are (13:20)

4. But What Am I? (12:17)

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Duo Recordings
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Percussion & Drums
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

Search for other titles on the label:
Corbett vs. Dempsey.


Recommended & Related Releases:
Dunmalll, Paul (Dunmall / Kinch / Cole / Mwamba / Kane / Drake)
Bright Light A Joyous Celebration
(Discus)
Recalling his Sun Quartet album, UK saxophonist Paul Dunmall's new sextet pivots off the jubilant rhythm section of drummer Hamid Drake, double bassist Dave Kane and vibraphonist Corey Mwamba, with three saxophonists--Dunmall on tenor & c-soprano saxophones, Xhosa Cole on tenor and Soweto Kinch on alto & tenor saxophones--in a truly joyful bright celebration of free flowing jazz.
Williams, Mars / Vasco Trilla
Critical Mass
(Not Two)
The second release from the duo of Spanish percussionist Vasco Trilla and Chicago reedist Mars Williams, the latter performing both on reeds and on toy instruments, each using extraordinary and extended technique to create exotically energetic conversations and beautifully meditative environments, in five creative, playful and impressively informed dialogs.
Brotzmann, Peter / Majid Bekkas / Hamid Drake
Catching Ghosts
(ACT Music + Vision)
A powerful, spiritual and warmly dynamic album of international and cross-cultural free improvisation meticulously recorded live at Jazzfest Berlin in 2022 from the trio of German reedist Peter Brötzmann on tenor saxophone and clarinet, Chicago drummer/percussionist Hamid Drake, and Moroccan guembri player and vocalist Majid Bekkas.
Vandermark, Ken / Hamid Drake
Eternal River [VINYL]
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)
Focused on the music of Don Cherry and recorded at Corbett vs. Dempsey's gallery space on the closing day of an exhibit of art by Cherry's partner Moki Cherry (whose tapestry "Spirit" is the LP's cover) this concert finds drummer Hamid Drake, who lived with the Cherry family in Sweden, and Ken Vandermark on tenor sax, reworking medleys of Cherry's tunes from across his discography.
Natural Information Society Community Ensemble
Since Time Is Gravity [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Eremite)
Expanding the rhythmically exuberant Natural Information Society led by Chicago bassist & guimbri player Joshua Abrams with core members Lisa Alvarado (harmonium), Mikel Patrick Avery (drums) & Jason Stein (bass clarinet), are Hamid Drake (percussion), Josh Berman & Ben Lamar Gay (cornets), Nick Mazzarella & Mai Sugimoto (alto sax & flute), Kara Bershad (harp) and Ari Brown (sax).
Uruk (Duthoit / Hautzinger / Drake / Zerang)
Ame: Live at Artacts [VINYL]
(Trost Records)
Two long-standing duos--Isabelle Duthoit on clarinet & voice and Franz Hautzinger on quarter tone trumpet plus Chicago percussionists Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang, both on percussion and frame drum--joined together in 2020 for a European tour, recording this wildly informed homage to the Mesopotamia city Uruk live at Artacts in Alte Gerberei, St. Johann, Austria.
Jordan, Edward 'Kidd' / Joel Futterman / William Parker / Hamid Drake
A Tribute to Alvin Fielder (Live at Vision Festival XXIV)
(Mahakala Music)
Recorded at Vision Festival XXIV in June of 2019, legendary drummer Alvin Fielder's friends and long time partners Kidd Jordan on tenor saxophone, Joel Futterman on piano and William Parker on contrabass are joined by drummer/percussionist Hamid Drake for an emotional and potent swinging free jazz tribute to Fielder, who passed away in January of that year.
Tsahar, Assif / William Parker / Hamid Drake
In Between The Tumbling A Stillness [VINYL]
(Hopscotch Records)
A fierce free jazz concert recorded live at Levontin 7, in Tel Aviv by three players with a long history of collaboration and dynamic trio settings, from Israeli saxophonist formerly based in NYC Assif Tsahar, bassist William Parker and Chicago drummer Hamid Drake, in two extended, energetic and inventive improvisations and a concise closing "Stillness".
Williams, Mars Presents
An Ayler Xmas Vol.5
(Astral Spirits / Soul What Records)
This year's An Ayler Xmas is the 5th in the series from saxophonist Mars Williams, mashing holiday classics with works by saxophonist Albert Ayler, with the amazing sextet of Josh Berman on cornet, Jim Baker on piano, viola & Arp Synth, Brian Sandstrom on bass, guitar & trumpet, Steve Hunt on drums, Peter Maunu on violin and Kent Kessler or Krzysztof Pabian on bass.
Brotzmann, Peter Chicago Tentet
Ultraman vs. Alien Metron [SINGLE SIDED VINYL]
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)
Recorded during the 2002 studio sessions that yielded the albums A Short Visit to Nowhere and Broken English, this unreleased recording of a Mars Williams composition is issued as a 1-sided LP with the stellar lineup of Brötzmann with Williams, Ken Vandermark, Jeb Bishop, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Kent Kessler, Michael Zerang, Hamid Drake, Mats Gustafsson and Joe McPhee.
Parker, William
Migration of Silence Into and Out of The Tone World (Volumes 1-10) [10 CD BOX SET]
(Centering Records)
A 10-album collection in a solid box set of vocal and instrumental suites recorded expressly for this set between late 2018 and early 2020, with women's voices at its core (both on voice & other instruments), taking a vast view of music from around the globe through free improvisation and re-imagined sonic collage, performed by groupings of extraordinary performers.
Williams, Mars Presents
An Ayler Xmas Vol. 4: Chicago vs. NYC [VINYL]
(Astral Spirits / Soul What Records)
This year's An Ayler Xmas, the 4th in the series from saxophonist Mars Williams, expands to a double CD with recordings from two bands: Josh Berman, Jim Baker, Kent Kessler, Brian Sandstrom & Steve Hunt (Chicago); and Steve Swell, Hilliard Greene, Chris Corsano, Nels Cline & Fred Lonberg-Holm (NYC); in incredible free jazz mashups and bash-ups of Holiday favorites.
Boneshaker (Williams / Nilssen-Love / Kessler)
Fake Music
(Soul What Records)
Masterful, fervent free jazz from trans-Atlantic trio of Mars Williams on saxophones, Kent Kessler on bass, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums, captured live at Elastic Arts, in Chicago in 2017 for three impressive collective improvisations of intense energy, articulate and extended expression, and ecstatic improvisation in an exceptional and cohesive concert.
Williams, Mars presents
An Ayler Xmas Volume 2
(ESP)
After releasing "An Ayler Xmas: The Music of Albert Ayler & Songs of Christmas" on Chicago saxophonist Mars Williams' Soul What? Label, ESP approached him for a 2nd volume, resulting in this joyful and quirky holiday record with contributions from Josh Berman, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Kent Kessler, Jeb Bishop, Christof Kurzmann, Didi Kern, Thomas Berghammer, Steve Hunt, Jim Baker and Hermann Stangassinger.
Boneshaker
Thinking Out Loud [VINYL-DAMAGED]
(Trost Records)
The third album from this international trio of powerful improvisers--Norwegian drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love, Chicago bassist Kent Kessler, and Chicago/NY saxophonist Mars William-- in four odysseys that take the listener from introspective playing to out and out blowing, using technique to serve their incredible dialog.
Boneshaker (Mars Williams / Paal Nilssen-Love / Kent Kessler)
Unusual Words
(Soul What Records)
A CD intended to sell at concerts from Mars Williams' own Soul What Records label, a studio recording in 2012 from the powerhouse trio of Chicago multi-reedist Mars Williams, in-demand Norwegian drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love, and Chicago bassist Kent Kessler, running the gamut from furious blowing to introspective interaction.
Williams, Mars presents (w/ Berman / Lonberg-Holm / Baker / Kessler / Sandstrom / Hunt)
An Ayler Xmas: The Music of Albert Ayler & Songs of Christmas
(Soul What Records)
Chicago saxophonist Mars Williams directs his Albert Ayler tribute band, Witches and Devils, to merge Ayler-esque compositions with Christmas songs, performed by Josh Berman (cornet) Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello), Jim Baker (keys, viola), Kent Kessler (bass), Brian Sandstrom (bass, guitar, trumpet); an unexpected and welcome present for your free jazz festivities!
Rothenberg, Ned / Hamid Drake
Full Circle - Live in Lodz
(Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))
Two legendary improvisers, Downtown New York multi-reedist and shakuhachi player Ned Rothenberg met Chicago drummer Hamid Drake at Ciagoty I Tesknoty, in Lodz, Poland in 2016 to record this effusive, extraordinary live concert of improvised music, demonstrating both enormous instrumental skill while imparting wonderfully upbeat energy; outstanding!
Fields Ensemble, Scott
Denouement
(Clean Feed)
Parker, William Double Quartet
Alphaville Suite: Music Inspired by the Jean Luc Godard film
(RogueArt)
Parker, Evan Trio & Peter Brotzmann Trio
The Bishop's Move
(Les Disques Victo)
Other Recommended Releases:
Russell, Hal / Mars Wiliams
EFTSOONS [VINYL]
(NESSA)
Eftsoons (defined as "soon after") is the 1981 duo album from NRG Ensemble leader Hal Russell with ensemble saxophonist and Chicago mainstay saxophonist Mars Williams, who also performs on slide whistle, bells and "lots of other stuff", Russell also performing on cornet, vibraphone and toys; an exciting and energetic album of truly free, inspired playing!
NRG Ensemble (directed by Mars Williams)
Hold That Thought
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)
The 1st of three archival albums from saxophonist Mars Williams' vaults, this 1996 concert in Utrecht with the NRG Ensemble--the band that Williams' carried forward after Hal Russell's passing in 1992--in an unrestrained concert of original material from Williams and fellow saxophonist Ken Vandermark, with Kent Kessler on bass, Steve Hunt on drums, and Brian Sandstrom on bass, guitar & trumpet.
Adasiewicz, Jason
Roy's World [VINYL]
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)
Titled for the film by Rob Christopher — Roy's World: Barry Gifford's Chicago, — whose soundtrack includes segments of this album, vibraphonist and composer Jason Adasiewicz's lyrically upbeat album is performed in a quintet with Chicago mainstays, Jonathan Doyle on saxophones, Josh Berman on cornet, Joshua Abrams on bass and Hamid Drake on drums.
Swell's, Steve Fire Into Music ( w/ Moondoc / Parker / Drake)
For Jemeel: Fire From The Road [3 CDs]
(RogueArt)
A triple CD of extended and magnificent performances between 2004 & 2005 from the quartet of Steve Swell on trombone, William Parker on double bass, Hamid Drake on drums and Jemeel Moondoc on alto saxophone, to whom this album is dedicated; two concerts in Texas and one at the Guelph Jazz Festival, with compositions from Swell and Moondoc plus collective improvisations.
Drake, Hamid
Dedications (Black Cross Solo Sessions 6)
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)
As prolific a drummer as Chicago-based international improviser Hamid Drake is, he has never released a solo drum album, which is finally put right with this release recorded at Experimental Sound Studio, developing strategies for these nine accomplished recordings, performed on a standard drum kit with each dedicated to prominent free jazz icon or group.



The Squid's Ear Magazine

The Squid's Ear Magazine

© 2002-, Squidco LLC