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Liquid Soul: Liquid Soul Vol. 1 (Ark 21 Records)

Mars William's Grammy-nominated eight piece collective performing a funky fusion of jazz, hip-hop, funk, free jazz and hard-bop, a band that had a Sunday night Chicago residency starting at the Elbo Room in 1994 and then moving to the Double Door through 2003; this album compiles archives from a wealth of recordings from those shows, along with unreleased studio recordings.

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product information:

Label: Ark 21 Records
Catalog ID: 61868 10021 2 3
Squidco Product Code: 30430

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded and mixed by: Rick Barnes at Rax Trax Recording Assistant Engineer and “Yes Man”: Chris Bauer a.k.a. Heckman Basic Tracks for 2,4,5,12 recorded at Warzone Recorders, by Scott Ramsayer. Tracks 9,10,13 recorded live at The Double Door, in Chicago. Track 6 recorded live during sound check at The Elbo Room, in Chicago. Live recording by Diversified Audio Group (D.A.G.), Steve Jacula and Neil Jensen.


Mars Williams-saxophones

Ron Haynes-trumpet

Doug Corcoran-trumpet

John “Showtime” Janowiak-trombone

Dan Leali-drums

Franklin Vanderbilt-drums

Vic Baker-drums

Devin Staples-drums

Ricky Showalter-bass

Tom Sanchez-guita

r Tom Klein-guitar

Ernie Denov-guitar

Chris “Hambone” Cameron-keyboards

Frankie Hill-keyboards

Doug Corcoran-keyboards

Scott Paskon-turntables

Frank Orall-turntables

David “My Boy Elroy” Arredondo-turntables

Eddie Mills-turntables

Jesse De La Pena-turntables

Dirty MF-mc

Brian “MCB” Quarles-mc

Mr. Geenweedz-mc

Joe Rendon-percussion

Newt Cole-percussion

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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 (

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

1. Bustin Out 3:37

2. Reggae Freestyle (Htd Live-Double Door 1999) 4:28

3. Bootie Wiggle Club (Freestyle Sunday 1998 With Frank Orall- Guset DJ) 3:19

4. Double D (Freestyle - Double Door 5-26-02) 5:23

5. Soulsonic Vibration (Elbo Room 1996) 3:43

6. Pmi (Freestyle - Double Door 2001) 4:08

7. Double Pump 4:23

8. Twice As Nice (Freestyle - Abbey Pub 5-5-13) 6:24

9. Watermelon Man (Live - Double Door 1999) 4:48

10. Lonely Bull (Ska) 4:12
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Liquid Soul, is the Grammy-nominated eight piece collective led by innovative saxophonist/composer Mars Williams, that has built its reputation on a compelling mix of jazz, hip-hop, funk, free jazz and hard-bop. Liquid Soul had a Sunday night Chicago residency, starting at the Elbo Room in 1994 and then moving to the Double Door. This residency continued until 2003.

Throughout those years, at least 75% of the shows were documented, either on Cassette, DAT, CDR, or MiniDisc. As far back as 2003, Mars began weeding through the Sunday night archives, specifically looking for Freestyles, which are a big part Liquid Soul's M.O., and found some really great music! While digging through the tapes, he also found some studio and live recordings of songs that were never released.

These "Lost Soul" recordings are an amazing documentation of Liquid Soul's dedication and journey from starting a weekly residency at a small club in Chicago, to becoming an Internationally renowned Grammy nominated band."-Soul What

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Large Ensembles
New in Improvised Music

Search for other titles on the label:
Ark 21 Records.

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