• Reed Davis
  • Mars Williams

I had no intention to write several posts about Christmas music, but here I am doing it for the third time in the last week. The winter solstice concerts by percussionists Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang are well-known holiday traditions in Chicago, but saxophonist Mars Williams and his long-running band Witches & Devils have quietly developed one of their own. On Wednesday night at the Hideout the group will play its third annual holiday concert, adding songs like “Joy to the World” and “Away in a Manger” to its long-established repertoire of compositions by the singular free-jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler (the band’s name is taken from one of his tunes).