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Riccardo Zappa

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Riccardo Zappa Trasparenze album cover
3.35 | 6 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ouverture
2. Synthesis
3. Datsun Blues
4. Trasparenze
5. 56 misure inedite
6. Archipelagos Aegeon
7. Cosė diversa... eppure...

Line-up / Musicians

- Riccardo Zappa / "Ovation" classic-electric guitar, acoustic guitar, 12 strings guitar, tubular bells
- Pietro Pellegrini / synth - Korg
- Vince tempera / piano
- Bob Clark / bass guitar, synth - moog
- Maurizio Preti / percussions
- Walter Calloni / drums
- Antonello Venditti / vocals in "Ouverture"

Releases information

DDD (vynil)

Thanks to Andrea Cortese for the addition
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RICCARDO ZAPPA Trasparenze ratings distribution

(6 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (80%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

RICCARDO ZAPPA Trasparenze reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Trasparenze is the follow up to Chatka. I had so high expectations in the past months because I though it would have been the STEP FORWARD in the Zappa's discography, after the two classics of the seventies, Celestion and Chatka. This thought has not come true, though, even if there are important differences between the records.

First of all, this is where and when Zappa introduced a prominent role for the twelve strings guitar along with his usual "Ovation" acoustic guitar. He occasionally plays tubular bells. Pietro Pellegrini (ex Alphataurus) by then joined him on synth-korg in some of the tracks, without replacing Vince Tempera on piano and Bob Clarck who, despite the bass guitar playing, provides synth-moog. A famous italian (pop) singer- songwriter, Antonello Venditti, sings in the first minute of the opener track "Ouverture" (7,20 minutes).

The result is still very good, sometimes excellent. By the way, after some listenings more, I cannot deny what was my first impression. This album is fine and represents, somehow, a return to the Celestion period with its longer tracks and complex songs' structure. Chatka has still a strong influence on it and you can listen it clearly in the strong classical vein and, for example, in "56 Misure Inedite" (3,00 mns) which is made, as "Emphasis" upon the music of a lutist of the sixteenth century. One of the most convincing songs, with a touch of sadness. Not as memorable as it could have been, though.

What really impressed me since the very first listenings (not positively, though) is the strong blues temper of "Datsun Blues" (6,00 mns). Never underestimate the title tracks. Never. O.K. it's not completely bluesy, but a mixed bag which continues to calls itself "Zappaesque", especially in the middle part.

The most relevant track, from a prog point of view, is the long "Trasparenze" (almost 9 mns) that demonstrates well what I've said about the mix between the sound of both Celestion and Chatka. It lacks of some mordant, in my humble opinion but is still an excellent gift for any serious fan. Tubular bells are played here. Keyboards are slightly more important here, in particular in the second half.

"Archipelagos Aegeon" (5,00 mns) features, for another time, a classic guitar's soft sound that erupts unexpectetly in a joyful ballad with the fine drums' playing of Calloni. Greece's and mediterranean sea's imagery is very strong in the Zappa's musical concept.

The closer is the warm and short (unfortunately) "Cosė Diversa ...Eppure" (1,48 mns).

In conclusion, this is not the big opus I was waiting for. It doesn't seem to be at the level of the noble predecessors. It's still and excellent contribution from the italian prog scene but suffers a little of those comparisons and, the most important thing, has an uncertain structure due to an artist in transitional phase. The nice surprise will come with the following record Haermea...

3.50 (3.75 should be the most correct evaluation). I will not round up to four, 'cause it would be difficult then to distinguish my appreciation's grade of the albums I own. All in all, a wonderful music that I will never be tired to listen to. Riccardo Zappa deserves more wider recognition.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Pure beauty comes from his guitar!!

And itīs impossible not to say that because Riccardo Zappa offers an exquisite and beautiful guitar playing, whatever it is, i mean electric, acoustic or 12 string guitar, itīs absolutely brilliant because besides knowing and dominate the guitar sound, he gives his own style so honestly right now i could put a RZīs song and i will recognize immediately that is him, that is great because it means that i have learned to identify his music and his style, not everyone can do this to me, i can recognize so much tones and people, but this time i think it took me less time to open my soul to the celestial sound of Riccardo Zappa.

This time i am reviewing his 3rd effort which was released in 1980, two years after "Chatka "and 3 years after his magnus opus "Celestion", and the name of this 3rd album is "Trasparenze", seems that he was kind of simple with the names of his albums, again only on word but within that word we can discover a journey to excellent music.

If you are not familiar with this guy, let me tell you that he has nothing to do with Frank, he is Italian and his music is full of beauty classic inspired guitars, with soft touches of symphonic prog, not being the classic rock progressivo italiano band, actually itīs quite different but anyway you can relation each other in some ways.

Trasparenze is again a short album, 35 minutes aprox with 7 songs with some highs and lows, but not so noticeable actually.

"Overture" is the first track which seems to be a bit obscure due to the introduction (few seconds before vocals) and then Antonio Venditti share his voice for less than a minute, there are no words, only the voice and then is when the guitar starts! So talking about prog rock this beginning was to progressive, so does the song itself, but in a catchy way, seems to be not complicated to play and undesrtand but actually all the arrangements are quite difficult and only a virtuoso like Zappa could have created them, besides that, we can hear a soft sound of percussion and the moog somewhere giving to it a "transparent" atmosphere with a clean sound.

"Synthesis" is a faster song which starts suddenly with the 12 string guitar and the song continues like this all the way around, itīs a good song, but not the best though, i have heard several better songs than this, there are also some claps through it.

"Datsun Blues" as Andrea mentioned in his review this is not a true blues, but nonetheless it has the sound of a bluesy song, not typical in Zappaīs playing maybe he wanted something a bit different i dont know, but anyway the song is not bad at all, after half of the song it stops being bluesy and becomes more personal i mean in the style of Zappa and also rockish! when drums appears, but at the end it returns to the blues aspect.

"Trasparenze" is a beautiful track!, besides being the longest it reminds me absolutely to some Celestion moments when thereīs nothing but pure beauty in the music, and i could be listening to this and never get tired of, the sound of the guitars simply makes me feel perplexed and so calm when i listening to it, during the song we will notice some sudden changes and a kind of spacial sound done only by the guitars!, then the songs becomes faster and seems to have a happy feeling through it, great!

"56 Misure Inedite" is another beautiful song but this time based in the classic sound, i mean reminding me a bit of Joaquin Rodrigo and other earlier compositors, this not means at all that the song is weak, no way, but i have to point that is not prog at all it s only full of classic guitars so you may get bored with it.

"Archipielagos Aegeon" i think was composed as a mix of the proggier and non classical songs, itīs something between both but with more classical tendencies i think, the sound could be prertty similar to the past song, it sounds a bit like a movie theme of the 60īs i imagine some one walking happy in a white and black screen and with this song as a background.

Cosi Diversa... epure is the last and shortest song of the album, so itīs not a big deal, just a nice song to close a nice album, sometime i commented to Andrea that my feelings about Trasparenze are the same as Chatka, and this has not changed, so after this music plenty of beauty, i will grade it with 4 stars, and of course recommend it to all of you fans of guitar, classic and soft guitar because you wont find any Petrucci or Fripp over here.

Excellent addition to any prog lover, and many thanks to Andrea Cortese for the introduction!

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After the rather dissapointing ''Chatka'',Italian guitar virtuoso Ricardo Zappa enters the Stone Castle studios in Carimate two years later in order to record his third personal album.And with a 12-string guitar on the cover you know exactly what to expect.From this point Zappa begins a short collaboration with ex-Alphataurus keyboardist Pietro Pellegrini.

From the dramatic vocals of Antonello Venditti and the first sounds from Zappa's guitar,everything showcases a return to the quality and energy on Zappa's debut.Delicate, smooth but often virtuosic and highly technical playing with evident OLDFIELD-ian hints and influences from Classical,Blues and Meditterenean Music,''Trasparenze'' becomes a beautiful journey in world music with every listening.Pellegrini's Korg synthesizer offers some spacey soundscapes in the background and a steady rhythm section adds some dynamics from time to time.Give an extra point to the long title track,which an amazing OLDFIELD-ian mix of ethnic and symphonic musicianship of the highest calibre.

It is a fact that Zappa delivers with every release a more personal sound of playing and with ''Trasparenze'' I think he got to his highest inspiration,focusing on his 12-string guitar.This album is not for everybody,but if you like trippy and intelligent music with different influences,this album is a great stop.Strongly recommended,3.5 stars.

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