Michael Foster & Ben Bennett have been an active duo for the last 4 years, toying with and queering the the sax-drums free jazz tradition, approaching it with equal parts reverence and harsh scrutiny. In 2017, the duo paired with Mexico City-based trumpeter, Jacob Wick, for a trio recording and performance that further probed these relationships. Wick’s approach to the trumpet and improvisation as a whole is deeply informed by his studies in social practice, community organizing, and queer theory (particularly Judith Butler’s concepts of “undoing” in relation to the social practice of music and performance). Like Jacob, Michael’s approach to the saxophone and improvisation is also informed by queer identity and his engagement with gender and sexuality studies; unpacking the saxophone’s loaded cultural signifiers through extensive instrumental preparation, and a constant, nervous re-positioning of the instrument’s traditional roles within an ensemble. Ben has been taking the drums apart for years, initially beginning as a traditional trap set player and eventually deconstructing the drum set to its bare essentials by moving it to the floor where he can turn it into a percussive and woodwind-like instrument through his own extensive preparations. He is also known online for his YouTube series “Sitting and Smiling”.
Their trio CD, released on Palliative Records, can be purchased via Michael Foster.
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