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Patto - Patto CD (album) cover

PATTO

Patto

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.78 | 53 ratings

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Psychedelic Paul
4 stars PATTO were a London-based Jazz-Rock band led by Mike Patto on vocals. They released three albums in the early 1970's:- "Patto" (1970); "Hold Your Fire" (1971); and "Roll 'em Smoke 'em, Put Another Line Out" (1972). Patto recorded a fourth album in 1973 "Monkey's Bum", but that album wouldn't see release until the 1990's, long after the band had broken up due to poor record sales. Their first self-titled album - reviewed here - with it's very bizarre and ghoulish cover, featured eight songs on the original album, with three bonus tracks added for the 2017 CD reissue.

Alright Now, it's time to meet "The Man" for our opening song. It's a slow tempo heavy blues number with the gravelly-voiced soulful singer Mike Patto sounding like he regularly eats sandpaper for breakfast. The music is nicely laid-back, with a similar sound to some of the slower gutsy songs by Paul Rodgers and Free. The song also has the added bonus of a Jazzy instrumental interlude featuring the lustrous sound of the vibraphone, which glides softly over the listener like gossamer caresses. If you were to throw a coin in the Wishing Well and hope for a soulful and bluesy Free-like number to open a Jazz- Rock album, then "The Man" is exactly what you would get. The second song "Hold Me Back" is a storming Blues-Rock song with a punchy rhythm section but without any of the Jazzy elements heard in the opening song. There's no holding back the electric guitarist on this bluesy number, as he demonstrates some frenetic finger-licking prowess on the fretboard. Onto Song No. 3 now and "It's all behind, it's time to rest, it's time to die" ..... Those are the opening lyrics to "Time To Die", so this song isn't exactly bursting with joyous optimism and happiness. The long-haired singer Mike Patto looks and sounds not unlike soulful David Coverdale of Deep Purple in the YouTube video that accompanies the song. If you're in the mood for some mean and moody British blues, then the raw and earthy "Time To Die" might be just your cup of tea (taken without milk and sugar). Get ready for some red-hot duelling guitars in "Red Glow", a song which brings to mind the classic dual guitar leads of Wishbone Ash. The guitarist with Patto might not have an awesome "Flying V" guitar like Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash, but he can still make it perform virtual aerobatics with some stunning Stratocaster guitar licks.

Having found a YT video for "Time To Die" on Side One, we're doubly-blessed with a Live YouTube video for "San Antone", the opening song on Side Two. This song is an all-out raucous rocker with a pile-driving rhythm which barrels along relentlessly for three minutes with barely enough time for the band to come up for air. This group of London guys sound just like a bunch of good old boys from San Antonio, Texas in this pounding Southern Rock number. The only thing missing in the YT video are the long beards of ZZ Top, forever remembered as the hirsute Texas trio whose drummer Frank Beard is the only member without a beard! The 6th song "Government Man" is a fairly routine bluesy number with a laid-back mellow groove. The song is nothing to do with a G-Man from the F.B.I. though. No, it's a sad and sorry tale of a family about to lose their home to the government man of the title. The song might be back-to-basics British blues, but it still beats most of what passes for popular music on the radio these days. Forget Bieber Fever - this is what REAL music sounds like! The next song "Money Bag" is the longest piece of music on the album, running at around ten minutes long. It's also the Jazziest tune on the album, where the extended running time allows ample time for some wild improvisational experimentation. The first six minutes is one of those Love/Hate pieces of music, where you'll either love it for the technical wizardry to be heard from a group of accomplished musicians at the top of their game, or you'll hate it for what sounds to your ears like "a tuneless mess". Either way, the last four minutes is a return to some sense of normality for the standard double-four-time British blues formula to be heard on earlier songs. Are you sitting comfortably? We're "Sittin' Back Easy" (with no "g") now for the final song from Patto's debut. It's a two-part piece of music with a deceptively quiet opening to put one in a relaxed and mellow frame of mind. There's no time to rest on our laurels though, as the opening just serves as a prelude for some powerful Blues-Rock which slowly gathers in pace, exploding out into a storming crescendo of sound for the magnificent finale. It's a four-minute-long album highlight.

Patto have stormed onto the Jazz-Rock stage in impressive style with this powerful bluesy debut which packs a mighty punch!

Psychedelic Paul | 4/5 |

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