The Viola Crayola — Music: Breathing of Statues
(Radioactive RRCD093, 1974/2005, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2007-03-01OK, 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.
Related artist(s): The Viola Crayola
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more
Martin Gordon - God's on His Lunchbreak (Please Call Back) – Now that bassist Martin Gordon has established himself across two creditable solo records together with a crackshot band that suits his clever muse, it’s clear that he has some more pop rock damage... (2006) » Read more