Get this crazy baby off my head!



Patto - Patto - 1970 - Vertigo

This is a forgotten classic progressive jazz rock album by the great British jazz rockers Patto. The band were formed from the ashes of Timebox and were named after the wild man of UK rock, the late Mike Patto, (born Michael Thomas McCarthy on September 22, 1942 in Cirencester, Gloucestershire: died on 4th March 1979, from lymphatic leukaemia). Lucky enough to be signed to Vertigo, the label of many progressive rock classics, Patto went into the studio with Muff Winwood as producer. Winwood had left the Spencer Davis Group in 1967, in order to take up the job a the head of A&R at Chris Blackwell's Island Records. Winwood decided to record Patto with a 'live-in-the studio' feel. "Patto" was released in November, 1970, and it is a brilliant album. The album is remarkable, not only for Ollie Halsall's extraordinary guitar work , who was capable of amazing jazz inspired runs and unimaginable peaks of distortion on both the electric guitar and vibraphone, but also for the bands expert handling of complex time signatures and jazz changes. Mike Patto himself, was a great vocalist who could handle smooth ballads, screaming rock and roll, and the middle ground as well. The album received great critical acclaim by both the music press and fellow musicians. But this great album was a commercial failure, and reportedly only sold about 5,000 copies. This may sound incredible, but it was certainly not unusual in the early seventies, as there were so many great bands around, and the competition was intense. This album is VHR by A.O.O.F.C as one of the best progressive prog. jazz rock albums of the seventies. If you can track it down, buy it. Their 1971 "Hold Your Fire" album is another excellent album from Patto, and is worth buying, (again, if you can find it!).


1. The Man 6:10
2. Hold Me Back 4:40
3. Time To Die 3:00
4. Red Glow 5:15
5. San Antone 3:10
6. Government Man 4:20
7. Money Bag 10:10
8. Sittin' Back Easy 3:30
9.Hanging Rope (Bonus Track - On the Repertoire 2004 CD release)


Clive Griffiths - Bass
Ollie Halsall - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
John Halsey - Drums
Mike Patto - Vocals

BIO (Wikipedia)

Patto was a progressive jazz-rock band formed in England in 1970 consisting of Mike Patto (born Michael Thomas Sean Patrick McCarthy, 22 September 1942, in Cirencester,Gloucestershire died 4 March 1979) on vocals, John Halsey (born 23 February 1945, in Highgate, North London died in 1979) (ex Barry Reed and the Avengers, Felder's Orioles) on drums, Ollie Halsall (born Peter John Halsall, 14 March 1949, in Southport Lancashire died 29 May 1992, in Madrid, Spain) on guitars and vibes, and Clive Griffiths (born 16 May 1945, in Middlewich, Cheshire) on bass. All ex Timebox. Timebox was a '60's outfit that developed from a complicaded ancestry that included The Bo Street Runners, Patto's People, and the Chicago Blue Line. This soul/psych-pop combo made two singles for Pye's Piccadilly, before signing to Decca's Deram label in 1967. They also recorded five singles for Deram between '67 and '69 and appeared on BBC shows such as Noise at Nine, Stuart Henry on Sunday and Jimmy Young. After their last single failed in '69, keyboard player Chris Holmes (born Christopher Noel Holmes, 12 September 1945, in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire) left and they decided that their future lay in the burgeoning progressive rock movement. In 1970 Patto was formed out of the remaining ex-members of Timebox and was signed to the newly formed Vertigo label. With Muff Winwood as producer they recorded their first album live in studio. This was because Winwood felt this best way to capture the raw virtuosity of Halsall's guitar playing and Mike Patto's soulful voice. The album "Patto" sold poorly and is still considered an underrated classic today. In December 1971 Patto entered the studio again to record their second album "Hold Your Fire". Again the sales were poor and they were dropped from Vertigo. This did not hinder the fact that they were becoming known as one of the most exciting live acts of their time. Through his connections in England Muff Winwood was able to get the band signed to Island Records where they recorded the album "Roll 'em Smoke 'em Put Another Line Out". To their dismay this album also sold poorly. In 1973 the band began to record their next album. For this album Mike Patto wanted to use more of his material which was less cynical than the usual Patto songs and much more commercial. For whatever reason Halsall failed to put much effort into his playing on tracks that he didn't take part in writing and when asked about this he left the band. The album that was called Monkey's Bum was also rejected by Island Records. Without their virtuoso guitarist Patto chose to call it quits with each member moving on to other projects.

MORE ABOUT PATTO [Source: The Tapestry of Delights - The Comprehensive Guide to British Music of the Beat, R&B, Psychedelic and Progressive Eras 1963-1976, Vernon Joynson ISBN 1 899855 04 1 ]

Mike Patto (real name Michael Patrick McGarth) first came to light as the vocalist in a Norwich R&B outfit called Mike Patto and The Breakaways. After several line-up changes, The Breakaways became The Bluebottles, but soon after Patto headed for London to join The National Youth Jazz Orchestra. At the same time he had a spell with The Bo Street Runners and the Chicago Line Blues Band in 1966 before forming Timebox, which eventually evolved into Patto. These three albums were heavier in style than what he'd done to date but failed to capture a wider interest. Nonetheless, "Patto" (1970), was a good jazz-rock fusion featuring some fine vibraphone and guitar playing from Ollie Halsall. "Hold Your Fire", which is now hard to find on vinyl, was reputedly better, although their album for Island was rather disappointing. When the project disintegrated in 1973, Patto embarked on a brief solo career and also had spells in Spooky Tooth and Boxer (the latter venture reuniting him with Ollie Halsall). His final solo 45, "Sitting In The Park" was a ballad done by Billy Stewart and Georgie Fame. Sadly, he died on 3 March 1979 of throat cancer. The flip side to his first 45, "Love", which was actually a Bo Street Runners track, left over from their earlier sessions, later appeared on the "Pop-Sike Pipe-Dream" compilation.


Anonymous said...

Any chance of reuploading this most fantastic of all rock progressive albums? Thank you!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi! Anonymous. Thanks for request. New link due today!

A.O.O.F.C said...