"Patto" Album Review From
Melody Maker Magazine
December, 12 1970

PATTO: "Patto" (Vertigo).

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. --M.W.

Note: Not certain who M.W. is, but it is probably Michael Watts who also did live reviews of the band for Melody Maker.


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