Sunday, 20 March 2011

Patto - Hold Your Fire (1971)

Hold Your Fire, Patto's second album is not a radical departure from the style of the first one but it does have a bit more finesse and not such a bare exposing warts and all production. There is more complexity but it's still the powerful mix of rock and jazz they blended so successfully on that previous album.

Things get off to a great start with the title track; a song that all would be guitarists should listen too. It's not a complex song but Ollie Halsall's fluent guitar work is stunning as he weaves and bobs with a style that sounds like he's almost soloing through the entire piece. The mellower You, You Point Your Finger follows and is a lovely piece with a excellent vocal performance from Mike Patto and suitably subtle playing from the rest of the band. How's Your Father is another mellow song and along with Halsall's fluent guitar work he also adds piano. It seems he could play any instrument he turned his mind to. See You At The Dance Tonight is more of a straight ahead rock song, or as straight as Patto ever played them, once again Halsall turning in a fine inventive performance including a fantastic solo.

Side 2 of the original vinyl version opened with another rocking song Give It All Away which is played with a swing feel and at the risk of sounding repetitive another great guitar solo. Air Raid Shelter is the band in jazz mode with a strong and dynamic performance from drummer John Halsey and bassist Clive Griffith's who really take off when Halsall goes into solo mode. Tell Me Where You've Been subtly shifts the time around yet still retains a solid rhythm and is another inventive track; wonderful stuff. The album closes with Magic Door and Halsall lets his guitar take a back seat in favour of piano and vibes. Another laid back tune, it's played extremely well and a great way to end.

Patto never managed to get the success they deserved but Hold Your Fire and their eponymous debut are two early seventies gems that fans of great guitar playing in particular should check out. Highly recommended. PATTO Hold Your Fire music reviews and MP3 (Review from progarchives)

Songs / Tracks Listing
1 Hold Your Fire 6:45
2 You, You Point Your Finger 4:30
3 How's Your Father 4:45
4 See You at the Dance Tonight 5:50
5 Give It All Away 4:10
6 Air-Raid Shelter 7:05
7 Tell Me Where You've Been 3:15
8 Magic Door 4:30

Line-up / Musicians

Mike Patto / vocals
Ollie Halsall / guitar, piano, vibes, vocals
John Halsey / drums, vocals
Clive Griffiths / bass

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