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

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

László Hortobágyi - Summa Techonologiae – While not well known in the States, Hungary's László Hortobágyi has for most of the 90s been making some of the most exciting ethno-electronic music available anywhere. Another disc from the...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues