Joe McPhee / Eli Keszler Duo


Eli Keszler has been one incredibly busy guy over the last few years.  From his various solo outings and installations to his collaborations as Red Horse and Aster (not to mention his label, REL), he’s never one to rest on those laurels.  Straight from Italy’s criminally underappreciated 8mm label comes this new collaborative record with Saxophonist extraordinaire, Joe McPhee.  The label accurately describes this as a missing link between the tradition of free jazz and current explorations in sound art.  Keszler’s free-flowing, bombastic clatter is the perfect foil for McPhee’s trademark wails.  It has to be kind of intimidating to work with a legend like McPhee, but Keszler steps up to the plate and absolutely nails it.  Alternating between push-it-to-11, scattershot insanity to stripped-to-bone minimalist whispers, and everything in between, “Ithaca” covers a lot of ground.  This is dynamic music, searching out boundaries that need nothing else but to be destroyed.  McPhee is simply amazing, blasting through walls with such sonic force that I’d be okay if my ear drums crumbled under the pressure.  This is one hell of an LP, missing link or not.  - Brad Rose