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

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

G.P. Hall - Marks on the Air – This recording serves two masters. First, it presents soundscape artist G.P. Hall live on stage, and secondly, it demonstrates the binaural recording process. Binaural recording places two small...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues