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Patto - Sense Of The Absurd CD (album) cover

SENSE OF THE ABSURD

Patto

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.88 | 6 ratings

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Nightfly
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars Sense Of The Absurd, released in 1995 was the first time any Patto music had been made available on cd. The original albums having sold poorly were also hard to come by and pricey if you did manage to find one in decent condition. In these days of ebay their first two albums on vinyl regularly sell for 200 plus. Although the albums are now available individually Sense Of The Absurd gives the buyer an opportunity to get their eponymous debut and Hold Your Fire, presented here on two discs in the original running order with the addition of some welcome bonus tracks which are worthy of inclusion.

Patto's music was an adventurous blend of rock and jazz with a bit of blues thrown in now and then for good measure. Any guitar enthusiast cannot fail to be impressed by the dazzling and inventive playing of Ollie Halsall, surely one of the most criminally overlooked guitar hero's deserving of far more recognition than he gets. In Mike Patto they had a great singer in the rock tradition with powerful and gritty tones though capable of subtle restraint. The versatile rhythm section of Clive Giffith's (bass) and John Halsey (drums) cannot be underrated and form an essential and dynamic base for Halsall's guitar excursions, laying down a solid foundation or equally at home playing subtler jazz patterns.

The music contained on these two discs is pretty much the essential Patto, their first two albums being easily the best of the four available. I've already done detailed reviews of these albums individually so instead I'll concentrate on the bonus material. Of the four tracks three of them capture the band in their more jazz orientated territory. Hanging Rope which appears at the end of the first disc is the first of these. At almost fifteen minutes long, although containing some vocals it's largely instrumental in a similar vein to Money Bag. It has the feel of a jam but reaches some fantastic highs with some particularly blistering guitar work from Halsall. At the end of the second disc Beat The Drum features no guitar with Halsall playing vibes (and a little piano) instead. It's a pretty sparse sound but with some excellent playing from all and jazzy vocals from Patto, works well. Bad News also features vibes but introduces some guitar after a restrained start. It's a more rocky song with jazzy overtones and builds nicely with a strong melody. Finally Air Raid Shelter closes with an alternative version of the most jazz orientated cut of the Hold Your Fire album. It's perhaps not quite as good as the original but not vastly different either.

Unless you're particularly bothered about having the original artwork of these first two albums (I also have them both on CD in lovely LP replica gatefold sleeves) then this is probably the best way to own them. Not only for the superior sound quality; this version is taken from the original master tapes; but also for the bonus tracks included which while not essential for the casual listener certainly are for the dedicated Patto fan.

Nightfly | 5/5 |

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