PATTO – Patto

Mike Patto had been a stalwart of British music for some years before he got around to forming his own band in 1970. He started out in the early 60’s in a Norwich (hurrah!) band called Mike Patto And The Breakaways, who later turned into the Bluebottles before losing Patto firstly to the Bo Street Runners, then The Chicago Line Blues Band, and finally in 1966 to Timebox. This last band was very well respected around London and made a number of fine singles, many of which feature on the numerous psyche compilations doing the rounds. For his eponymous band the sound became heavier and more jazz influenced, while guitarist Ollie Halsall produced some of his best work on these albums. ‘Hold Me Back’ is a great example of the heavy feel of these songs, and also of Halsall’s skill on the guitar, while ‘Red Glow’ ups the ante even further, with a classy Halsall solo and Patto’s emotive vocals all coming together. The jazz stylings come through on ‘San Antone’, although they are never overpowering, but on ‘Money Bag’ the jazz guitar soloing might just prove to be a bit too much for some people. Despite that, this is a great heavy progressive album.