"Testa's bass playing is fantastic. His forceful personality and beautifully resonant tone (perfectly positioned in the balance) is a powerful counterpoint to Braxton's often high-pitched inventions: put together, the two men create an imposing vista of registeral perspective."
- Phillip Clark, The Wire, Summer 2008 on Quartet (GTM) 2006 [link to article]
The "trio performances are thoughtful and evocative . . . [they create] an introspective, chiaroscuro atmosphere."
- Daniel Barbiero, Avant Music News, September 2011 on Solos/Trios (Chicago, February 2010) [link to article]
A "fine, engaging disc...doesn't quite sound like anything else I've encountered before...[Carl's] composing remains most engaging and unique throughout."
- Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery, October 2008 on Uncertainty [link to article]
"An interesting and unusual record...a worthwhile debut album."
- free jazz stef, free jazz blog, October 2008 on Uncertainty [link to article]
"It's human music, with varied emotions and...sublime moments."
- Richard Kamins, Hartford Courant, August 2008 on Uncertainty [link to article]
| Read an interview with Carl on the Tri-Centric Orchestra Blog
Read an article about Carl and The Uncertainty Music Series in The New York Times
Read an article about Carl and Rachel Bernsen's collaboration in The New York Times
Read an article about Carl and the NHIC in The New York Times
Read a feature about Carl on Peter Margasak's Chicago Reader Music Blog
Read an article about Carl in The New Haven Advocate
Read a feature about Carl's solo electronics project Kalle on Bill Carbone's Music Blog
Carl Testa is a composer and multi-instrumentalist, most notably as the bassist in composer Anthony Braxton's groups with whom he's performed throughout the US and internationally. Testa's own compositions have been described as "engaging and unique" (Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery) and "human music, with varied emotions and sublime moments" (Richard Kamins, The Hartford Courant). Testa released his debut album Uncertainty in 2008 and is currently working on his second release. In addition to his own trio with clarinetist Mike McGinnis and percussionist Bill Carbone, he regularly performs with Anthony Braxton's Septet, 12+1tet, and Trillium Orchestra. He also collaborates with vocalist Anne Rhodes, choreographer Rachel Bernsen, and composers Lou Guarino, Brian Parks, Adam Matlock, Nathan Bontrager, and Christopher Riggs. Every month he runs the Uncertainty Music Series as an organizer in New Haven, CT. http://carltesta.net
Carl Testa is a composer and multi-instrumentalist based in New Haven, CT whose music balances lyrical melodies with textural acoustic and electronic soundscapes. He has performed throughout North America and Europe at venues like the Iridium in NYC, the Roundhouse in Vancouver, BC, Canada and Jazzdor in Strasbourg, France. He has presented his own music at venues like Monkeytown in New York, Elastic in Chicago, and The BIG ROOM in New Haven. In October, he participated in a residency at the electronic music center STEIM in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. His compositions have been described as "engaging and unique" (Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG Newsletter) and "human music, with varied emotions and sublime moments" (Richard Kamins, The Hartford Courant).
Testa is a native of Chicago, Illinois where the influence of the jazz scene and especially the musicians' collective the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), inspired him to pursue music. In 2002, he moved to Middletown, Connecticut to study at Wesleyan University where composer, multi-instrumentalist, and AACM member Anthony Braxton was teaching. While at Wesleyan, he studied a wide range of music including improvised music, jazz, classical, experimental, electronic, Javanese, and Chinese music. In addition to his academic studies he began to have professional opportunities outside of Wesleyan with Anthony Braxton and other musicians.
After graduating from Wesleyan with a BA in Music and Sociology he moved to New Haven, CT and became involved with the growing improvised and experimental music scene there. In 2007 he founded the Uncertainty Music Series which is a monthly concert series featuring local and regional artists presenting their own original work. This series has served as a gathering point for like-minded artists and propels musicians to work on new projects and work together.
Testa released his debut album Uncertainty in October 2008 and is currently working on his sophomore release. In addition to his own trio with clarinetist Mike McGinnis and percussionist Bill Carbone, he regularly performs with Anthony Braxton's Septet, 12+1tet, and Trillium Orchestra. He also collaborates with vocalist Anne Rhodes, choreographer Rachel Bernsen, and composers Lou Guarino Jr., Brian Parks, Adam Matlock, Nathan Bontrager and Christopher Riggs.
contact me - carl (at) carltesta (dot) net