Test [Aum]

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This studio album from the free jazz quartet Test shows that the group's music is at least as accomplished and rewarding as that of the other artists on the excellent Aum Fidelity label. With the exception of "What R U Going 2 Due?!," in which Daniel Carter unleashes ecstatic saxophone runs while Sabir Mateen shouts emphatically, Test is more exploratory than explosive. Carter and Mateen take center stage, playing with such sensitivity that they often sound as if they're finishing one another's thoughts. Mateen and Carter are both saxophonists, but they often switch to flute, clarinet, and trumpet, which gives some idea of the variety of moods here. Their Sam Rivers-like scrambling saxophone tangles on "Straightahead, Forward Motion," for example, sound downright frenetic next to "Alen's Flight Preparation," in which they play flute almost matter-of-factly, circling around each other while bassist Matt Heyner and drummer Tom Bruno tiptoe behind them. Fans of the Aum Fidelity label -- and of downtown New York free jazz in general -- should give Test a try.

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