Mars WilliamsMars Williams is an open-minded musician and composer who commutes easily between free jazz, funk, hip-hop and rock, Mars has played and recorded with The Psychedelic Furs, Massacre (the Fred Frith/Bill Laswell group), Ministry, Billy Idol, Power Station, Die Warzau, The Waitresses, Pete Cosey, Billy Squier, DJ Logic, John Scoffield, Charlie Hunter and virtually every leading figure of 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, Full Blast Trio, the Vandermark 5, and Cinghiale, teaming him with such musicians as Ken Vandermark, Hamid Drake, William Parker,.Kent Kessler, Fredric Lonberg Holm, Peter Brotzmann, Joe McFee, 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 and The Soul Sonic Circus which features improvising musicians and aerial circus performers. He is also currently composing and scoring music for film and TV.