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Holding Pattern - 1981 Holding Pattern

ARTIST: Holding Pattern
ALBUM: Holding Pattern [ep]
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: 1991, Art Sublime, ASCD 491-002 (as 'Majestic' along with additional tracks) * 1998, Cleefo, AVL 98117


LINEUP: Mark Tannenbaum - grand piano, fender rhodes, mellotron, mini moog, hammond organ, arp omni * Tony Spada - electric & acoustic guitars * Jerry Lalancette - bass, bass pedals * Robert Hutchinson - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Another Point Of View * 02 Honor Before Glory * 03 Jigsaw Dream * 04 Out Of The Tunnels


Here's a record that's been reissued twice. First in 1991 housed in an LP sleeve from the Art Sublime label called 'Majestic' which included unreleased Holding Pattern and a couple 'new at the time' cuts as well as in the late 90's on the Cleefo imprint which was just a straight reissue of the original album. With so many American progressive albums of worth still not on CD (October, Quantum, or Albatross anyone?), these guys are either very lucky or very smart. A little bit of both I think, but the reputation this record gained prior to the first reissue certainly helped their cause. Formed in Connecticut, Holding Pattern developed a very English progressive sound while playing out live with Kansas, Dixie Dregs and other like-minded major label bands. Their four track LP sold out quickly, but the time wasn't right, after all it was 1981 and with progressive rock all but dead in the minds of the public, the band broke up with few taking notice.

The Songs
A cool and very homemade looking cover that originally showed the TWA Airlines logo on the tail wing until the company threatened legal action, this record and its four songs will please fans of traditional Anglo progressive rock, but those looking for something more original should look elsewhere. The album is all instrumental with shades of Camel and Genesis especially the guitar work of Tony Spada which resembles the best of Steve Hackett and while I've heard others compare Holding Pattern to Happy The Man, don't believe it for a second since there's no fusion to be found anywhere. This record provides everything a prog fan desires, sweeping classical keys and impressive time changes with virtuoso musicianship but nothing here really moves me enough to think of Holding Pattern as one of America's great progressive bands.

In Summary
Holding Pattern are still active and a couple years ago released a new CD 'Breaking The Silence', but having heard some of Tony Spada's gonzo-prog metal solo stuff, I've had no interest in checking it out for fear it's just a little too modern prog for my taste.

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#1 | super80boy on January 02 2014 00:57:08
Acquired an original pressing of this about a year ago and finally getting around to spinning it. I know this is highly coveted in the prog circles and I can understand why. I'm not a big instrumental fan, but it's definitely a change of pace with good guitars and time changes. And yes, the cover artwork was a positive buying factor...
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