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

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Inquire - Melancholia – The second CD on this 2-disk set is devoted to a lively and entertaining rendition of Louis Verne’s 3rd Organ Symphony. Fans of Keith Emerson’s various classical interpretations, or IQ’s better...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues