Tom Bruno: drums
Sabir Mateen: alto+tenor sax, flute, clarinet
Daniel Carter: alto+tenor sax, trumpet, flute
Matthew Heyner: bass
An authoritative 90s-vintage NYC "free jazz" set; long out of print on CD, we are stoked to have this recording available again in full resolution glory.
TEST was a collective creative improvising quartet based out of the NYC underground: figuratively and literally. From 1992 onward, they performed on a weekly+ basis in the city's streets and subway stations. Distinguished by the near constant interweaving of the front-line, and a far-ranging textural diversity (due in part to the multiple wind instruments mastered by Carter & Mateen), TEST presented full forward! creative motion: all for one / one for all, cutting purely through the noise of the then [and today, ever more] ruling culture of destruction.
This album was recorded at AUM's original HQ – five stories into the light and above the 'F' train platform below; windows wide on dynamic range.
"Top Jazz Album of 1999" : The Met (Dallas, TX)
"Top Releases of 1999" : JAZZ Magazine
"Grade: A. Hearing this volatile New York quartet rip and roar, a listener might be reminded of the old gospel song that warns of "the fire the next time." TEST rises to the apocalyptic occasion on its debut disc. It is thrillingly explosive, yet also defies the commonly held notion that free jazz is a lot of unstructured noise. Almost criminally unknown and underrated, multi-reedists Daniel Carter and Sabir Mateen could be urban legends on leave from a Thomas Pynchon subplot. Such colorful fantasy shatters, though, when they begin to act as twin lightning rods, surging with sometimes convulsive bursts of raw energy. In the tradition of 1960s jazz giant Eric Dolphy, Carter and Mateen also have a keen sense of lyrical and harmonic balance. It's what allows their contrasting lines to flow with the organic logic of a spiraling double helix. Bassist Matt Heyner and drummer Tom Bruno sustain the flexible pulse that underwrites the concept's inherent risks. And any group that dares both a flute duet ("Alen's Flight Preparation") and a boisterous call-and-response sermon ("What R U Going to Due?") is taking risks. TEST pulls it off: This is one of the best albums of the year." –Steve Dollar, Atlanta Journal Constitution
"TEST makes a wildly organic kind of free jazz improvisatory glory. Almost bursting at the seams with rapturous energy and invention. They can be delicate and understated as on the flutes, bass and drums piece, or maintain a cinematic cohesion of atmosphere that dissolves into delirious chaos only to gather itself again, changing shape in the process. Truly beautiful music and amazing interplay." –George Parsons, Dream Magazine
Produced by Steven Joerg and TEST
Recorded by Alen Hadzi Stefanov on August 5, 1998
at AUM Hi-Q, Brooklyn
Mixed by Daniel Goldaracena at Mindswerve, Manhattan
Mastered by Chris Flam at Mindswerve
Photography by Michael Galinsky
is a recording label long devoted to pro-creative sound and song. The focus has always been on premier jazz & elemental soul
made by eternal masters of music.
[ Artist pages here created for those whom we've produced 3 or more album works with, or whose work doesn't readily fit under the rubric of "jazz". A few more still to come; the complete bounty of AUM works to date is on the main page. ]...more
I had been unaware of Darius Jones' work until a couple of months ago when I had the pleasure of hearing him with both Josh Berman's quartet and at the CJF aftersets at Constellation in Chicago. His vocabulary is unique and his energy unflagging. He has the information. This recording, with Cooper-Moore and Ra-Kalam Bob Moses propelling him, testifies to that.