Pato Banton is a British Reggae officianado, and as been at the top of his game for many years. On March 11th the North American market is going to get the opportunity to sample this master of the craft. Pato has been an undiscovered diamond in the rough in the US marketplace for several years, but with the release of Pato Banton And Friends that is all set to change. His list of friends by the way is both compendious and impressive. They include Sting, UB40, and other notable stars of the musical universe.

I was lucky enough to snag a pre-release copy of the CD, and I have to say that I am impressed. My previous expose to Pato was a re-release of his 1987 CD Never Give In, which I liked, but was raw and needy. This latest CD is rich in style. It is incredibly sophisticated, it is low key, yet incredibly moorish. Pato takes a number of well known songs and dresses them as only he can. Have you ever heard a reggae version of the Roy Orbison classic ‘Pretty woman’? Or ‘Baby Come Back’ which incidentally features UB40? Or how about ‘Spirits In A Material Wold’ done with a Ska makeover and Sting helping out?

This is a great album. If it does not rocket up the billboard charts I will be surprised.

I normally include the album cover art and ordering information. But I have neither! So here is my scheme, Pato has a MySpace page, check it out. And I know that Cornerstone RAS are releasing it, so drop them an email!

You can get order your own copy by clicking on the Amazon link above. (I’d let you borrow mine, but I like it too much).

Great album, I am most impressed with it.

Simon Barrett

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