Exposé Online banner

Riccardo Zappa — Celestion
(Mellow MMP 290, 1977/1996, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-02-01

Celestion Cover art

Zappa is a composer and guitarist who released a string of about nine mostly instrumental albums between 1977 and 1990. Celestion was the first, and is also the first to get the digital treatment. His style on Celestion is firmly rooted in classical, with many passages performed entirely solo, or as a duo / trio with himself. He is joined by four other musicians on the ensemble pieces: keyboards, bass, drums, and a percussionist. The eleven minute opener "Frammenti" illustrates it all, beginning as solo, bringing additional guitar voices in, and then finally the full band, into theme and variation, his style of both composition and playing is very accomplished. Stylistically, one might be reminded of some of the material on Anthony Phillips' Antiques album, or maybe Paul Brett's Interlife. Similarly, on "Mirage," he starts with a simple structure, building into a main theme using multi-guitar arrangements, then slowly building it into a full band piece. On "Tre e Quattro Quarti," he plays solo classical with flanger and delays, Diethelm / Famulari style, through the first half of the song, then turns the electricity on and starts to rock. In all, over its five pieces, this is a compelling album — simple yet developed, ornate but substantive, one that all fans of the guitar should have in their collection.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 11, 1996 releases, 1977 recordings

Related artist(s): Riccardo Zappa

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sparks - Sparks & A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing – Most probably know Sparks from their later work, but these two are where it all began for this LA based five-piece led by brothers Ron and Russel Mael (keyboards and vocals, respectively). On these...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues