Saxophonist Michael Foster brings his queer notions about music back to Chicago | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Saxophonist Michael Foster brings his queer notions about music back to Chicago 

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click to enlarge Michael Foster

Michael Foster

Julia Dratel

It takes work to have a place to play, and Michael Foster knows the issue as both an organizer and musician. He’s a cofounder of Queer Trash, which establishes dedicated queer performance events at venues around New York City. The collective hosts experimental and improvised music, harsh noise, performance art, and fashion; Foster’s music in the Ghost, the Andrew Barker Trio, the New York Review of Cocksucking, and duos with percussionists Ben Bennett, Claire Rousay, and Weasel Walter fall into a few of those categories. Though he’s recorded with tapes and electronics, his principal instruments are the soprano and tenor saxophones, whose natural voices he perverts with amplification and outboard attachments such as balloons and found objects. His playing ranges from rasping textural explorations and bubbling pools of noise to full-bore free-jazz blowouts, which made him a simpatico collaborator for local percussionist Michael Zerang and bassoonist and electronic musician Katherine Young when he came to Chicago in 2018. The three musicians recently released a CD recording of their first encounter, Bind the Hand(s) That Feed (Relative Pitch), which encompasses cooperative investigations of barely audible timbres and combative exchanges of broken sound. Foster, Young, and Zerang will reconvene at Elastic on Thursday night; Foster will also appear with frequent partner (and former Chicagoan) Weasel Walter at Cafe Mustache on Saturday, as well as with locals Dave Rempis (saxophones), Tyler Damon (drums), and Jason Roebke (bass) at the Hungry Brain on Sunday.   v

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