On Through, Henry Kaiser joins Italian guitarist Roberto Zorzi for a series of (mostly) free-improvised solos and duets with excellent results. Although there are the expected Derek Bailey-isms, Zorzi seems to come from something of a blues background (territory Kaiser is well familiar with), and as a result, a certain bluesy flavor pervades the album. Both play electric and acoustic guitars with Kaiser playing some bass as well, including a solo bass version of "The Skunk's Tears" (retitled "The Skunk's Frozen Tears") from the album Hope You Like Our New Direction. There's another version of the Kaiser favorite "Dropped D" ("Dropped D Monteleone") and they slip into Albert Ayler's "Ghosts" as well. Zorzi also does a heavily Italian-inflected (though well-played) version of Nick Drake's "Time of No Reply." Other material ranges from the fabulous acoustic blues of "Variations on Skip James' I'm So Glad" to the frenetic electric freak-out of Kaiser's "The Trouble With Treble" to the dual strangulation deaths of their electric guitars on "La Calma E' La Virtu dei Morti/Ghosts." Zorzi serves up some deranged slide with Kaiser on bass on "Ooops...Wrong Hat" and pretty acoustic playing with effects interjections on "Muro Di Gomma." Both guitarists are great players as well as listeners, and the fact that they freely mix more conventional material with the more non-idiomatic improvisations might make this an ideal starting place for someone curious about free-improvised guitar music. Excellent.
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AllMusic Review by Sean Westergaard