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The Viola Crayola picture
The Viola Crayola biography
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.

?Music: breathing of statues. Perhaps:
silence of paintings. You language where all language
ends. You time
standing vertically on the motion of mortal hearts.

Feelings for whom? O you the transformation
of feelings into what?--: into audible landscape.
You stranger: music. You heart-space
grown out of us. The deepest space in us,
which, rising above us, forces its way out,--
holy departure:
when the innermost point in us stands
outside, as the most practiced distance, as the other
side of the air:
no longer habitable.?

Recommended for fans of THE MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA.


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4.00 | 12 ratings
Music: Breathing Of Statues

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 Music: Breathing Of Statues by VIOLA CRAYOLA, THE album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.00 | 12 ratings

Music: Breathing Of Statues
The Viola Crayola Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Although the progressive rock world is only a mere half century old as of 2018 (compared to jazz or classical which is ancient!), it's absolutely amazing how many different artists have come and gone throughout its mere five decade time run. For every King Crimson, Pink Floyd and Yes, there are literally hundreds of bands that were equally as creative, infinitely more experimental and yet for whatever reason, crashed and burned practically before they ever got through the door. Yet another one shot wonder from the early 70s is this oddity THE VIOLA CRAYOLA which put out exactly one album titled MUSIC: BREATHING OF STATUES in 1974.

THE VIOLA CRAYOLA may sound like a really strange band name but makes more sense once learned that it was founded by the VIOLA brothers led by guitarist Anthony with his bro and drummer Ron. This band was a guitar led jazz-fusion trio that emerged somewhere out of Texas, USA, pumped out this one stellar heavy psych / prog / jazz-rock album and then had its career cut short when Tony was killed in a freak car accident barely after the album was hot off the press. The trio was rounded out by Bill Jolly on bass and this one and only released came out on the Fautna label 1974 and despite its relative obscure nation has found its way onto a CD re-release on Radioactive Records.

MUSIC: BREATHING OF STATUES is one of the more unique album names of the era but due to a shortened career this band was snuffed out before anyone could hear it which is woefully a shame because this is some powerful and wonderfully wild guitar driven power prog that finds wickedly wild wah-wah and psychedelic fuzzed out guitar taken from the Hendrix playbook, turned up a few notches and marries it to the jazz-fusion technical prowess of John McLaughlin obviously influenced by his early Mahavishnu Orchestra period with finger breaking guitar riffs and even sicker sizzling solos. Other guitar influences cited range from Frank Zappa, Fred Frith, Henry Kaiser and Larry Coryell.

For a debut album MUSIC: BREATHING OF STATUES is a strong one. It effortlessly jaunts from one fuzz-fueled jammy jazz-fusion treat to another. The album is almost exclusively instrumental with the one exception of the Zappa-esque novelty closer 'What Is The Meaning Of Love?' which is an over-the-top goofy piece reminiscent of Zappa's works such as 'Greggery Peccory' (which came out after this release) or 'Billy Was A Mountain' (which came out before) only it incorporate the jazz-fusion musical accompaniments. In fact, it reminds me a bit of The Tubes of all bands especially their earliest stuff. Overall THE VIOLA CRAYOLA delivers a stellar guitar driven jazz-fusion album that seamlessly fused jazz and rock and incorporated the techniques of the masters. This isn't quite as brilliant as John Abercombie's similar Friends project but it does get very close. Excellent.

Thanks to evolver for the artist addition.

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