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3 Mar 2017

Viola Crayola "Music: Breathing Of Statues" 1974 US Private Fuzz Psych Prog Fusion





Viola Crayola  "Music: Breathing Of Statues" 1974 US Private Fuzz Psych Prog Fusion
full

Instrumental guitar excursions with a hard edge and a playful vibe despite the album's lofty pretensions. Progressive towards the fusion camp but most of the traps of the style are avoided, thanks in no small part to the jammy feel provided by the rhythm section, while lead guitarist and main guy Anthony Viola soars on top, playing with a raw metal edge and plenty of fx boxes to help him. The music is carefully structured and composed, as evident from the back cover which provides sheet music for the basic themes of all eight songs! Some tracks such as "The bus to New York" go all the way into avant jazzrock but even at that remains reasonably open to the listener. "The last one on earth" has a nice doomy intensity, like Black Sabbath with a Juilliard degree. All over I found this LP surprisingly appealing, especially in small doses, and if you want to check the genre out this should be a good entry point. The memorable LP title comes from a poem by Rilke, printed on the front cover. Recorded in New York. [PL]~~~This isn’t the usual psych collectors’ fare, but never underestimate an album’s rarity as a factor in opening people’s minds to new genres of music. It’s instrumental progressive rock with some jazz leanings. Anthony Viola is a talented and creative guitarist, and at some points the soloing gets pretty wild. The songs are complex, full of odd time signatures and unusual riffs. I’m not especially knowledgeable about instrumental rock of this type, so I can’t compare the album to anything, but there’s no question that this is good stuff, instantly enjoyable. A couple of songs are really disjointed, while others flow smoothly despite the tricky time changes. The rhythm section keeps up nicely. The final song is a big goof, with the only vocal on the album, sped up Chipmunks-style and singing about sandwiches. Some of you will hate it, but after the rather serious music that preceded it, it’s kind of fun to end the album in a lighthearted way. Short album: 8 songs in about 25 minutes. [AM]........

"You know, there are great guitar trio albums and then there's San Antonio's Viola Crayola. This jazzy psych freakout jam album is just remarkable and sounds about 15 years ahead of its time in technique. And fortunately it IS of its era sound-wise. This thing just rips and shreds and wah-wah's until you collapse from exhaustion. The last 2 minute goofball track allows us to see Viola's mentor - Mr. Zappa. If these guys released this in 1991, there would be a monthly feature in Guitar Player for him. Unfortunately, Tony Viola died tragically later in 1974. Album is only about 29 minutes long. A bootleg exists." - CD Reissue Wish List...........

I was digging around in a box of old vinyl albums in the basement and I came across this platter. I don't know why I had buried this in the basement but I gave it a spin and then some more spins.

Wow! This is kick ass all instrumental progressive psychedelic hard rock with some touches of jazz. The wah wah guitar riffs are ball busters, kinda heavy metal before there was heavy metal. This album simply rocks from start to finish.

The album is short but packed with testosterone laden hard rock and another "one and done". Why?....by...rod45 .........

OK, so Music: Breathing of Statues is an artsy, pretentious title, and more than a little odd. One of the odd things about it is that the music on the album is not really pretentious at all, unless you’re completely prejudiced against musicians who really know their way around their instruments. There is a hint of the kind of complexity associated with Berklee grads, but there’s enough improvisation to avoid sounding like over-rehearsed wankery. This is a fusionesque guitar trio and the Viola in the band’s name belongs to two of the members, Tony and Ron Viola (guitar and drums respectively). Bill Jolly handles the bass. Tony Viola’s guitar is the dominant factor, and he’s got a very interesting style, at times reminding me of Jimi Hendrix, Larry Coryell, early John McLaughlin, and even Frank Zappa, Fred Frith, or Henry Kaiser. When he breaks out the wah-wah, the Hendrix connection pops up, especially as he every once in a while drops in a heavy rock riff to punctuate the general jazzy feel. And not to neglect the others, the drums combine rock and jazz seamlessly, and the bass handles both solid bottom and tasty flourishes. Apparently Tony died shortly after the album was released, which is the only reasonable explanation for his status as an unknown. That and the fact that this remarkable record was released on a tiny independent label that wasn’t able to bring it to the attention of anyone who could have done something with it.....by Jon Davis,........


The Viola Crayola was a Texan band fronted by the VIOLA brothers, Anthony on the guitar and Ron on drums, joined by the bassist Bill JOLLY. The bright future of the band was unfortunately sealed by the death of very talented Anthony VIOLA in a car accident in San Antonio in late 1974. Before his tragedy, the band recorded their only LP in first three days of October in 1974, a short (29 minutes) album and besides a Frank ZAPPA influenced number, completely instrumental jazz fusion record which shows off all the talents of this trio, especially creativity and technical playing by the late Anthony VIOLA. Even though the album sometimes gives the impression of a jam feel, the back cover illustrates with note sheets on how the music is actually carefully structured and composed. Dedicated to Mama Viola, the LP was originally released in 1974 on a obscure label Fautna and waited for more than 30 years to be found as a lost gem and then released on an audio CD on Radioactive label in 2005. The record itself was titled after the poem Music Breathing Of Statues by Rainer Maria RILKE.

Burning hot fusion disc with wild wah-wah action and some heavy riffing. Much like The Electromagnets, another mind-blowing fusion group from Texas in the mid 70s, the Mahavishnu Orchestra influence is obvious, but this is not as not as monumental as that somewhat less obscure group and the stripped-down power trio sound is quite different than their orchestral guitar and keyboard sound. Highly recommended to anyone into early Larry Coryell, Kazumi Watanabe, and early 70s fusion in general.

There's one short track at the end with goofy Zappaesque lyrics and processed vocals and it's not cheesy; it's brilliant. It's heads-down, no-nonsense instrumental immersion bliss otherwise.

Not a lot of info on this one, but here's the Forced Exposure blurb for the reissue: "A real stunner of an album from Texan band Viola Crayola. Fronted by the Viola brothers, Tony and Ron, the group, whose music is often described as hard guitar prog-psych, looked destined for success until the untimely death of Tony in a auto-train crash in San Antonio, Texas in 1974. Music: Breathing Of Statues is the brother's only known recording, and what a record it is, with its wild prog instrumental power-trio vibe and a strong jazzy fusion sound running throughout. The album, which was recorded in New York in 1974 and released the same year, appeared on the Fautna label, a label so obscure that it doesn't seem to have existed at all. ..............

A real stunner of an album from Texan band Viola Crayola. Fronted by the Viola brothers, Tony and Ron, the group, whose music is often described as hard guitar prog-psych, a crossline between Zappa and Soft Machine, looked destined for success until the untimely death of Tony in a auto-train crash in San Antonio, Texas in 1974.

Music: Breathing Of Statues is the brothers only known recording, and what a record it is, with its wild prog instrumental power-trio vibe and a strong jazzy fusion sound running throughout. The album, which was recorded in New York in 1974 and released the same year, appeared on the Fautna label, a label so obscure that it doesn't seem to have existed at all.............

Line-up / Musicians

- Anthony Viola / guitar
- Ron Viola / drums
- Bill Jolly / bass 

Tracklist
A1 Mr. Leroy, Pepe' Is Lost 4:15
A2 The Bus To New York 4:47
A3 I Know You Don't Have A Car, But What Color Is It? 5:14
A4 2+1 2:38
B1 The Nurds At My School 2:57
B2 You're Drivin' Me Crazy With Relief 2:44
B3 The Last One On Earth 3:22
B4 What Is The Meaning Of Love? 1:57

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..