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Patto - Monkey's Bum CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.23 | 14 ratings

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3 stars Monkey's Bum is the fourth Patto studio album but never received an official release at the time. While being a vast improvement on the sillyness of Roll 'Em, Smoke 'Em, Put Another Line Out it's not quite up to the excellence of their first two albums.

Where their eponymous debut and Hold Your Fire were mainly a powerful blend of rock and jazz, Monkey's Bum while having some of those elements has a more songwriterly approach, mainly down to vocalist Mike Patto having a higher profile in the writing. Be warned however that the sound quality is not great. Whether it comes from a deteriorated master tape or other sources I don't know but it does have a bit of a muffled sound and some dropouts.

The band play well and it's great to see more of Ollie Halsall's inventive guitar playing than on the previous album. My Days Are Numbered makes a great opener. A mid paced rocker with some tastefully picked guitar from Halsall as well as some nice jazzy fender Rhodes. Last Night I Had A Dream is a cover of a Randy Newman song, once again there's some nice electric piano. Sugar Cube 1967 is light weight rock which uses a brass section and is fairly average. Better is the uptempo I Need You with some fine fluent guitar work and Clive Griffith and John Halsey provide a strong rhythm section.

Good Friend is a really lovely song with a strong melody played with subtle restraint. One of the album highlights. Get Up And Dig It is another uptempo song with lots of electric piano and sax with Mel Collins guesting. Sausages also has a good helping of electric piano as well as some tasty slide guitar work. Another uptempo number Halsall takes over from Patto for lead vocal duties. Hedyob has an offbeat feel and one of the quirkier songs here. It slips into straight time later for a superb Halsall solo which totally burns. Pick Up The Phone is weaker and is a piano led mid paced light rock song. Closing the album is the rockier General Custer; not bad but unexceptional.

It's a shame this album didn't receive better treatment at the time and received an official release as it's a strong record. Then we may have a better representation of it than the substandard tapes being used for the current release. Nevertheless, if not for the casual listener, essential listening for Patto fans who'll find much to enjoy here. 3 stars.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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