One of the two bands formed from the wreckage of the semi-legendary Il Sistema, Celeste was the brainchild of drummer Ciro Perrino and keyboard player Leonardo Lagorio, himself a former member of Il Sistema's other offspring, Museo Rosenbach. With the line-up completed by Mariano Schiavolini (guitar, violin) and Giorgio Battaglia (bass), Celeste was an aptly-named outfit - with each member a virtual multi-instrumentalist, the group's arsenal included xylophone, harpsichord, violin and flute, all blended into a delicate, almost folky and, indeed, celestial brew that can readily be compared to the gentler moments on the first two King Crimson albums. Working with guest guitarist Vittorio De Scalzi, the band's debut album was recorded during 1973/74. It would be 1976, however, before Principe di un giorno was finally released, via the tiny Grog label. A further dozen tracks from this same period, including alternate (earlier) versions of several tracks from the album, would later (1992) be released by Ciro Perroni's own prog specialist label Mellow, as I suoni in una sfera.
By the time their debut album was released, of course, Celeste themselves had moved on considerably. Back in the studio, they were now exploring jazz rock territory but, finding themselves unable to secure a record deal, the band broke up before completing the sessions. The best of this material was subsequently released in 1991 as the sensibly titled Celeste II; the band members themselves, meanwhile, scattered. Perrino cut a solo album, Solare in 1980, and also worked with the bands Saint Tropez, SNC and Compagnia Digitale, before launching Mellow in the late 1980s. ~ Dave Thompson
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