Exposé Online banner

The Viola Crayola — Music: Breathing of Statues
(Radioactive RRCD093, 1974/2005, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2007-03-01

Music: Breathing of Statues Cover artOK, 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.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 34, 2005 releases, 1974 recordings

Related artist(s): The Viola Crayola

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kaipa - Angling Feelings – What is Roine Stolt doing? First he leaves The Tangent and now he's flown the coop from Kaipa, a band he helped form in 1975. I can only guess he's focusing his efforts on getting Flower Kings...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues