Get this crazy baby off my head!



Patto - Sense Of The Absurd - 1995 - Vertigo

Three albums and out, Patto (named after vocalist Mike Patto) were highly regarded on the British rock scene in the '70s. The key point of the band was probably the superb guitar work of the eminently flexible Ollie Halsall, a performer whose session work was highly prized, even though the guitarist seemed hesitant to step into the spotlight. Patto performed a stately mix of jazz-rock with a little bit of blues. Following the breakup of the band, Halsall moved on to play with Tempest while Patto joined Spooky Tooth for Mirror. Patto and Halsall came back together in Boxer in 1975, though Halsall remained for only a single album, with Patto remaining the sole founding member by the following album. Patto died in 1979 of throat cancer. © Steven McDonald © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/patto-p19795/biography

Criminally underrated at the time, but borne into legend by the unspeakable tragedies that awaited its makers, the debut album by Patto can safely be described among the finest jazz-rock fusion albums ever cut by a British band. Mike Patto's vocals certainly match that billing, a throaty, emotive sound that puts one in mind of the effect that Steve Winwood spent much of his career pursuing, while first lieutenant Ollie Halsall's reputation as one of the era's hottest guitarists is revealed as only one of the strings to his bow -- early into the opening "The Man," he unleashes a mean vibraphone solo as well. However, "Hold Me Back" quickly restates his lead duty and, though the song itself is little more than a crude rewrite of the Rolling Stones' "Stray Cat Blues," the riffs that scythe through the brew are sparkling enough to camouflage any lyrical redundancies. "Money Bag," too, offers up a showcase that is difficult to shake, dueling with a scat rhythm section that is tasteful enough to eat, but never overwhelming the mood. The passing of time has not preserved all of Patto's joys -- like so much of the fusion of the age, there are elements that sound preposterously overwrought today. At its best, however, it re-establishes all the glories for which Patto was renowned at the time; at its very best, it occasionally even overpowers the group. [The 2006 Repertoire reissue includes the bonus track "Hanging Rope."] - Review of CD 1 ("Patto") © Dave Thompson © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/patto-bonus-track-r852667/review

Considering that Patto are named after their lead vocalist, Mike Patto, one would be inclined to think initially that this four-piece band was essentially a vehicle for his vocal talents. Not so! in fact, if anyone is to the fore it is Olly Halsall, who plays lead guitar, acoustic, piano and vibraphone on the band’s debut album, and is outstandingly good. It is beyond my comprehension that he has not been heard before, seeing that he has been on the music scene for quite some time, most notably with Timebox, from the ashes of which b (sic) and Patto has arisen. Clive Griffiths, on bass, achieves a high degree of empathy with Halsall -- very subtle and understated -- and drummer John Halsey is the spur for much of the music, although occasionally he is a hit too busy and fond of flashy rolls, which threaten at times to disturb the delicate balance which the others are maintaining. Patto, who is one of the four vocalists with Keith Tippett’s Centipede, has a lovely funky soul voice, with traces of both Stevie Winwood and Long John Baldry. The music moves from rock to jazz and back again, but they are hardly a jazz-rock band in the popular concept; there is certainly a very free-form approach on "Money Bag," on which Halsall's hard-edged guitar work solos over a loose backdrop of bass and drums, with Patto’s voice dropping in at the end in an almost detached fashion. Producer Muff Winwood has produced the album with great restraint and simplicity. I’m very impressed by it. © Michael Watts - "Patto" Album Review From Melody Maker Magazine December, 12 1970

Ignore the fact that the opening title track sounds almost exactly like the intro to Neil Young's "Ohio" and Patto's second album kicks into gear from the moment needle strikes vinyl. A driving fiesta of good-time bluesy-rock, Hold Your Fire retains just enough of its predecessor's jazz fusion sensibilities to ensure that you're never sure what will happen next, but similarly imbibes sufficient oxygen from elsewhere on the early-'70s British rock underground to line up alongside any other primal gem of the age. Certainly producer Muff Winwood seems considerably more at ease than he did his last time around, hauling Ollie Halsall's tuneful soloing high up in the mix and framing the album's best tracks -- the melancholy "You, You Point Your Finger" among them -- within some breathtakingly lovely arrangements. Another highlight, the funky Faces-like "See You at the Dance Tonight," almost single-handedly blueprints the best of the still-unborn pub rock boom, while Halsall's playful "Air Raid Shelter" would not have been out of place on Hold Your Fire, which further proves that not all of Patto's early instincts have been suppressed. Neither do the surprises stop with the music. Hold Your Fire was released in positively the most un-Roger Dean-like sleeve design to which Dean ever put his name. There again, vast spacescapes filled with floating islands and flying elephants were never really Patto's forte -- not when the alternative offers barefoot cops, scantily clad damsels, and hippies bearing colorful mushrooms. - Review of CD 2 ("Hold Your Fire") © Dave Thompson © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/hold-your-fire-r46350/review

The brilliant progressive jazz rock band Patto was 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|, and died on 4th March 1979). "Sense Of The Absurd" is a 2 x CD set comprising Patto's first two albums, "Patto" and "Hold Your Fire". The tracks are from the original master tapes, and there is more than 30 minutes of previously unreleased bonus tracks. Signed to Vertigo, the label of many progressive rock classics, Patto went into the studio with Muff Winwood as producer. Muff had left the Spencer Davis Group in 1967 to become the head of A&R at Island Records. Muff decided to record Patto with a 'live-in-the studio' feel. "Patto" was released in November, 1970, and it is a brilliant album, 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 the album was a commercial failure, and reportedly sold about 5,000 units. This may sound strange, but it was certainly not unusual in the early seventies, as there were so many great bands around, and competition was fierce. In 1992, Barry Monks wrote that "To this day, it defies belief that such an album ("Hold Your Fire") can be so little, if ever, referred to in the history of British rock. What this album conveyed, and still does to this day, is that we had the finest and most innovative guitar player this country has produced - bar none. No apologies are offered for quoting the following from the opening of a rare tribute, published in Guitarist magazine just after Ollie’s death: "In the overall scheme of things, there are two albums which anyone who imagines they can play guitar should hear. One is Are You Experienced, the other is Hold Your Fire by Patto". The set is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Read Richard Lane's Liner Notes from "Sense of the Absurd", 1995 @ http://www.pattofan.com/Patto/absurd_notes.htm & the Press Release for this album @ http://www.pattofan.com/Patto/absurd_press.htm Listen to Patto's "Roll 'Em, Smoke 'Em Put Another Line Out" album, and if you can find it at a fair price, buy the great 1998 CD "The Deram Anthology featuring Mike Patto & Ollie Halsall" [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: 2 x rar files: Pt 1 ("Patto") = 141 Mb, & Pt 2 ("Hold Your Fire") = 130 Mb]

CD 1

1. The Man (6:14)
2. Hold Me Back (4:41)
3. Time To Die (2:55)
4. Red Glow (5:17)
5. San Antone (3:10)
6. Government Man (4:21)
7. Money Bag (10:06)
8. Sittin' Back Easy (3:44)
9. Hanging Rope (14:46) Bonus

Tracks 1 - 4, & 9 composed by Griffiths, Halsall, Halsey, Patto: Tracks 5 - 8 composed by Halsall, Patto

CD 2

1. Hold Your Fire (8:04)
2. You, You Point Your Finger (4:33)
3. How's Your Father (4:43)
4. See You At The Dance Tonight (4:56)
5. Give It All Away (4:09)
6. Air Raid Shelter (7:04)
7. Tell Me Where You've Been (3:47)
8. Magic Door (4:22)
9. Beat The Drum (5:06) Bonus
10. Bad News (4:36) Bonus
11. Air Raid Shelter - Alt Version (7:02) Bonus

Tracks 1,2,5,7,8 composed by Halsall, Patto: Tracks 3,4,6,11 composed by Halsall: Tracks 9 & 10 composed by Griffiths, Halsall, Halsey, Patto


Peter "Ollie" Halsall RIP - Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Vibraphone, Organ, Piano, Lead Vocals
Clive Giffiths - Bass, Vocals
John "Admiral" Halsey - Drums, Percussion
Michael Patrick "Patto" McCarthy RIP - Vocals


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) (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.


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. - 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 ]


Slidewell said...

Whenever I meet a know-it-all music snob who claims to have heard every band that ever recorded, I pull out my Patto albums, and more times than not, I get the "how come I hadn't heard THIS before" look. Guitar geeks always get a kick out of Ollie's pyrotechnics. I had to acquire my vinyl as pricey imports back in the 70's. "Hold your Fire" has the cool folding mix & match cover. I hadn't got around to digitizing these two albums so thanks for that!

ratso said...

I like the synchronicity, as I've been thinking of Patto lately. I also like the music! Thanks.

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

Hi,ratso.Brilliant first album and ahead of it's time. TVM & Catch you later...P

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

Hi,Slidewell. Those guitar geeks usually know everything about nothing and nothing about everything. I've been listening to Patto's first album for years, and it's really special. It sounds like nothing else. Ollie was a genius. I'm gonna listen to that s/t album later on just to appreciate great music, and help me forget that SCOWEll who knows everything about great music is returning to our screens shortly to produce the new Beatles...Thanks, & TTU soon...P

rockfan said...

As far as I know, John Halsey is not dead.

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

Hi,rockfan. Thanks very much for correcting a really stupid and serious error. My apologies to you, all fans of Patto and John Halsey and to John and anybody connected with him....P

daniel said...

TTan buenos comentarios Patto debe ser tan excelente,
gracias por este y tantos otros audios mas.

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

Hola, Daniel. Usted hace una excelente opción en la música. Gracias por tu comentario y vuelve pronto. Tenga cuidado ..... P

Miles said...


A terrific share, but I can't seem to access the files. Do I need to install the Minus App?


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

Hi,Miles. Those links look f**ked to me. There is info for that album @ http://www.jsfiles.ru/i/6009/p


Miles said...


Cheers mate! I was looking for the liner notes and found them at the Patto fan site:

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

Thanks, Miles. I never thought of checking for Patto related sites, so thanks for link. TTU later...Paul