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Riccardo Zappa

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Riccardo Zappa Chatka album cover
3.33 | 24 ratings | 3 reviews | 4% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Emphasis (6:23)
2. St. Dumont (6:04)
3. La Chitarra a Pila (5:15)
4. Chatka (3:50)
5. Vivre (3:04)
6. Eleila (3:12)
7. Piraeus (3:13)
8. Numero Unico (3:19)

Total Time 34:24

Line-up / Musicians

- Riccardo Zappa / classic - electric "Ovation" guitar, acoustic and electric guitar, 12 strings acoustic guitar
- Vince Tempera / piano, synth "ARP Odissey"
- Julius Farmer / electric bass guitar
- Tullio De Piscopo / "Rotomon" drums
- George Aghedo / percussions
- Lella Rosnati / eminent in "La Chitarra a Pila" and vocals in "Numero Unico"

Releases information

Mellow (MMP 294) - 1997
BTF/Vinyl Magic (VM 112) - 2006

Thanks to andrea cortese for the addition
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RICCARDO ZAPPA Chatka ratings distribution

(24 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(4%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(22%)
Good, but non-essential (70%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

RICCARDO ZAPPA Chatka reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With his second record, Zappa introduces the listener to a more classic opus. Eight shorter tunes, seemingly simpler in structure because of the more acoustic temper than its predecesessor.

The opener "Emphasis" (6,23 mns) is one the most favourite of mine: its first 58 "measures" are freely inspired to two ancient "ricercari" by XVI century lutanist Juan Maria da Crema. An elegant and impressing acoustic composition rich of classic flavour.

In "St. Dumont" (6,04 mns) Zappa plays his famous "Ovation" guitar helped this time by Tullio De Piscopo on "fast and furious" drums in the last two minutes. Another memorable tune.

"La Chitarra a Pila" (5,20 mns) starts with some synth' sound provided by well known italian keyboardist Vince Tempera (ex Il Volo). The song is exciting, flowing, dreamy.

"Chatka" (3,40 mns) opens with that famous tapping on acoustic guitar and was the most played tune on radio at the time the album was released. It starts the b-side in a more "conventional" vein with other (excellent) short track about three minutes each: "Vivre", the wonderful "Eleila", "Piraeus" - the first of a long serie of Greecian quotes by Zappa in his works and the closer "Numero Unico" which features few sparse vocals (with no lyrics) by Lella Rosnati.

That new three minutes' standard assured the album a great airplay and success.

The result is still very convincing even if it seems to be not at the level of the previous masterpiece "Celestion". I've never heard before to something similar, though, and that's why Zappa (Riccardo) deserves more wider aprreciation, larger number of aficionados and high levels of ratings! An excellent record. Recently re-issued on BTF records in elegant papersleeve cd format (as with Celestion).

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After the new addition of Riccardo Zappa, i have decided to review this album , thanks for the addition, i know some of us members are happy with it.

Coming from that beautiful country which is Italy, where so many recognizable and great prog musicians have come to seduce us with their music, in Riccardo Zappa we will find another clear example of that blessed lands, this time with him we are enjoying a great guitarist, maybe a virtuoso not for being so fast in his playing, but because of his fine and delicate style, which make a great sound accomplished with other musicians giving us another excuse to get closer to Italy`s music. Zappa has been well placed in Art Rock, so as you can imagine you might find some classical roots and influences, now after this little introduction, here is the review of Chatka, an album that i found not so far from this dates, but is an album tat i have listened so many times to give you my opinion.

"Emphasis" ,as usual the opening song is showing us where are we, and what kind of music are you going to listen, that first song shows us clearly the exquisite sound of Zappa`s guitar, let me tell you that if you are expecting a clear progressive rock sound, you might not find it here, but instead you will find brilliant soft music with classical influences and a superb acoustic guitar.

"St. Dumond", this song starts again with the superb acoustic guitar, sharing a moment of sweet harmony and beautiful to our ears, the difference is notable after some minutes, becasue it becomes different, now yes, with a progressive sound because of great (believe me or not, the bass sounds like any 70`s Italian bass), and synths which makes this song closer to an ideal prog song.

"La Chitara a Pila" i think the first 2 minutes is quite similar with a synth sound making some rare noises, then, the guitar enters giving the song a better sound, also one thing that i like so much is the sound of percussion, at the beggining of the song there are not drums, then while the song comes faster drums appear, and then, everything stops to giving pass only to Riccardo`s great guitar.

"Chatka" the self titled song, which starts with something like a 80`s video game song, (at least i imagine that sometimes), but then the song turns to be more classical, i might say that it has some folkish happy italian moments, great song, that synth makes a very peculiar sound here.

"Vivre" remind me to some Joaquin Rodrigo moments, this song starts as you can imagine with the acoustic guitar, there are so many moments that you can imagine a classical music guitarist, therefore it could be so enjoyable for any prog fan which is relationed with classic music. Again here we`ll find a nice percussion sound.

"Eleila", in fact it is quite similar to the past song, the lenght, acoustic guitar, percussion, and a beautiful sound, please dont expect something heavier or more symphonic like that 70`s Italian sound, because its totally different, but at the same time similar because of it`s greatness.

"Piraeus" starts with a soft 4/4 jazzy sound which sounds quite nice, but suddenly that jazz turns to blues, piano, bass and guitar doing their work to give the song a different moment, again suddenly that bluessy time ends to giving pass again to Zappa`s guitar, nice song.

"Numero Unico" Did i mention Joaquin Rodrigo or something?, well this is another great song which was made to appreciate that beloved acoustic guitar, it has a slow ,soft but beautiful sound which is always pleasant,also here is the only song where we can listen to someone`s voice oin somewhere,a good song to finish a good album.

As you have noticed, i didn`t mention any weak or bad point, and actually it was because this album is quite regular, it doesn`t have in my opinion weak moments and outstanding moments, talking about progressiveness St. Dumond is the best and my favorite, but when you listen to that guitar, every song could be your favorite.

The weak point (if it exists) is that Riccardo only gave us 34 minutes of beautiful music, it could be more, but anyway that`s not a problem, after all i love this album, but i do not consider it a masterpiece, what i can do is suggest it to you, and give it 4 stars because it could be a great addition to any prog fan.

Review by Prognut
2 stars A much more Organic and acustic output!! Personaly to much acustic for my taste. There are hundred of Spanish or Hispanic guitarristas doing the same stuff and probably better nowadays.

Shorter tunes did not help at all!. I do not know if Riccardo was trying something different or it was that he was trying to set his tempo?

Either way IMHO a step down from his debut, while Celestion attemted to be more original, this one became much more acustically mainstream, even for 1978.

If you like his debut, do not expect the same!!

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