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miércoles, 20 de julio de 2016

Marvin Pontiac - The Legendary Marvin Pontiac Greatest Hits (1999)


Hijo de un africano musulmán y una judía norteamericana que, tras una vida de injusticias legendarias, suicidios célebres y silencios monásticos, consiguió un tardío pero justificado reconocimiento. Un gran disco de blues traído por Marcelo B. hace tiempo y que hoy publicamos para alegría de varios cabezones. Les presentamos a éste ilustre desconocido admirado por Bowie, Beck, Jackson Pollock, Iggy Pop, Leonard Cohen, Flea de los Chilli Peppers y Michael Stipe de R.E.M. que entona cadencias africanas mezclado con el lamento del blues. Su música y la loquísima e increíble historia de este personaje increíble.
Los músicos que intervienen en el álbum no son sino los míticos e ilustrísimos de la escena avant-garde del jazz y el blues de finales de los 70 y principios de los 80. Lumbreras como Marc Ribot, John Medeski y Jamie Scott, entre muchos muchos otros... y como cantante, saxofonista, guitarrista y productor lo tenemos nada más ni nada menos que a John Lurie. ¿Algo más?


Artista: The Legendary Marvin PontiacMarvin Pontiac
Álbum: The Legendary Marvin Pontiac Greatest Hits
Año: 1999
Género: Blues rock / World Music
Duración: 51:45
Nacionalidad: EEUU


Lista de Temas:
1. I'm a Doggy
2. Small Car
3. Now I'm Happy
4. Power
5. Runnin' Round
6. Pancakes
7. Bring Me Rocks
8. Rubin
9. Wanna Wanna
10. Sleep at Night
11. Arms & Legs
12. She Ain't Going Home
13. Little Fly
14. No Kids

Alineación:
- Tony Scherr / Bass
– Kenny Wolleson / Drums, Percussion
– Danny Blume / Guitar
– John Medeski / Piano, Organ, Clavinet, Mellotron
– Marvin Pontiac / Harmonica, Alto Saxophone, Keyboards, Guitar, Electric Piano
– Erik Sanko / Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Drums, Other
– Adele Bertei, Eszter Balint, Kate Fenner, Kyrie Tinch, Liz Riley, Meaghan Gannett, Veronica Bryant, Renee French / Vocals and Background Vocals
– Jane Scarpantoni / Cello
– Calvin Weston / Drums
– Evan Lurie / Electric Piano, Piano
– Jaime Scott / Guitar
- Marc Ribot / Guitar
– Bill Ware / Marimba, Percussion
– Mauro Refosco / Marimba, Percussion
– Billy Martin / Shekere
– Michael Blake / Tenor Saxophone
– Art Baron / Trombone
– Doug Wieselman / Baritone Saxophone
– Tony Garnier / Baritone Saxophone
– Mauro Refosco / Percussion, Gong
– Steven Bernstein / Trumpet




Un disco es una experiencia hipnótica y profunda, algo para escuchar de cabo a rabo dentro con toda su densidad. Lisérgico en cierto modo, climático, nostálgico, ensoñador...

Sbre la leyenda: Marvin Pontiac (nacido Marvin Touré) nació en Detroit en 1932, hijo de un africano musulmán oriundo de Mali y de madre judeo-norteamericana. El padre se cambió el apellido a Pontiac pensando que así tendría más suerte en la Ciudad del Automóvil, pero a los dos años de nacer, Marvin supo que su suerte no iba a cambiar y abandonó a su esposa e hijo. Cuando la madre de Marvin fue internada en un hospicio, el padre apareció de la nada y se llevó al pequeño a Bamako, la capital de Mali, donde Marvin permaneció hasta los quince años. Poco se sabe de él durante esa década. Tampoco se sabe cómo volvió a los Estados Unidos, pero la siguiente noticia nos presenta al adolescente Marvin tocando blues en su armónica en los bares de Maxwell Street en Chicago, donde es acusado de plagio y se traslada a Lubbock, Texas, donde consigue trabajo como ayudante de un plomero que era también ladrón de bancos.



En 1952 tuvo un fugaz suceso con su canción "I’m a Doggy" (prohibida en la radio por la controvertida frase "Soy un perro, apesto cuando me mojo") y la hermosa balada "Pankakes", melodía en la que se basó poco después el himno nacional de Nigeria. Pontiac intentó sin éxito en los tribunales cobrar las regalías africanas por dicha canción; los gastos legales y los turbios manejos de su compañía discográfica lo dejaron sin un cobre y con una desconfianza de por vida hacia la industria del disco. Siguió tocando sus canciones en el descuidado jardín delante de su cabaña de Slidell (Louisiana), adonde le llegó la noticia de que Jackson Pollock sólo era capaz de pintar cuando escuchaba su música, pero ni así aceptó volver a grabar.


En 1970 Pontiac convocó a una conferencia de prensa y, vestido con turbante y túnica blanca, declaró que había sido abducido por los mismos seres extraterrestres que llevaron a su madre a la insania, y que planeaba dedicar el resto de su vida a componer canciones para esos esquivos alienígenas que, al parecer, no volvieron a contactarse con él. Aun así, acompañado de su guitarra acústica y de su único camarada, un vecino ciego llamado Roger Marris, que grabó a escondidas y conservó para la posteridad aquellas melodías, Pontiac tuvo una fiebre creativa durante la cual compuso sus mejores canciones ("Runnin Around", "Bring Me Rocks", "Arms & Legs" y "No Kids", entre ellas) en un estilo que fusiona entonaciones africanas con el lamento del blues, climas entre obsesivos e infantiles con estallidos de alegría que podrían definirse como psico-funky y letras decididamente peculiares, por no decir que rozan la más perfecta imbecilidad (el estribillo "Aluminum! Aluminum!" repetido hasta el infinito es una muestra fiel).


En 1972, Marvin Pontiac fue internado en un hospicio por circular desnudo montado en su bicicleta por las calles de Slidell. Varios estudiosos del blues intentaron entrevistarlo en la institución psiquiátrica, pero Marvin sólo aceptaba hablar de su madre y los extraterrestres, y entraba en pánico cuando intentaban tomarle una fotografía. Liberado o escapado del hospicio en 1977, llegó hasta Detroit, donde murió embestido por un ómnibus.

Hasta ahí la leyenda. Hacia fines de los años ‘80, el nombre de Marvin Pontiac parecía haberse perdido para siempre en el anonimato hasta que el escritor Elmore Leonard lo mencionó en su novela "Tishomingo Blues" (traducida al castellano como Blues del Mississippi). Allí, un narcotraficante fanático del blues obliga a sus secuaces a escuchar día y noche sus discos de Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Sonny Boy Williamson, Elmore James y su blusero favorito, que no es otro que Marvin Pontiac. Las disquisiciones musicales del personaje de Leonard son tan escasamente atractivas como las novelas de su autor, pero ya se sabe cómo son estas cosas: Leonard tuvo su cuarto de hora cuando un par de desorientados lo erigieron en sucesor indiscutido del gran Raymond Chandler y los rockeros que pasan por cultos son especialmente influenciables a las novelas que hablan de música. Aquella mención libresca fue la piedra de toque que desató una verdadera fiebre reivindicativa de las canciones de Pontiac entre los músicos más diversos: "En mis años de formación, no hubo influencia mayor que la que produjeron en mí las canciones de Marvin", declaró Flea de los Chilli Peppers; "Pontiac es tan inconteniblemente adelantado a su época que sus canciones parecen compuestas ayer nomás", dijo David Bowie; "Todas las innovaciones posibles en la música están ahí", dijo Beck; "Una Revelación, con mayúscula", dijo Leonard Cohen; "Guaaah!", dijo Iggy Pop; "Mi guardaespaldas no escucha otra cosa", dijo Michael Stipe de R.E.M.


El sello discográfico Strange & Beautiful Music editó el disco "The Legendary Marvin Pontiac’s Greatest Hits" y pasó algo similar a lo ocurrido con "El salmón" de Andrés Calamaro: no lo compró nadie hasta que fue a oferta y ahí se cansaron de vender (y no tuvieron más remedio que dejarlo a ese precio, algo que al viejo Marvin vaya a saberse si le hubiera gustado). El productor del disco era John Lurie y, según la ficha técnica, en los catorce temas del disco tocaron John Medeski, Marc Ribot, Michael Blake, Art Baron, Tony Scherr y Jamie Scott. Lurie se negó a aclarar si los mencionados músicos tuvieron el privilegio de zapar con Pontiac en el jardín de aquella cabaña en Louisiana en los años ‘70 (cuando todos ellos estaban en la primera adolescencia) o incorporaron su colaboración en el estudio que Strange & Beautiful puso a disposición de Lurie en Nueva York en el año 2000, cuando el ciego Roger Marris aceptó por fin liberarse de ellas, en la misma cama del hospital de Bellevue donde pasó a mejor vida. Lurie se limitó a declarar: "Es un disco que me ha cambiado para siempre", con la voz aflautada por el helio que aspiraba de un tubo de dicho gas que tenía a su lado.

La crítica ha dicho que Lurie sólo podía suceder a Queen Of All Ears (el último disco de su banda, los Lounge Lizards) con una maravilla como Pontiac. También se lo comparó con el disco maldito de David Byrne ("Music For The Knee Plays"), con el primer y el último Tom Waits y hasta con "Howlin’ Wolf". Las opiniones no fueron unánimes: hubo quien dijo que Pontiac sonaba tan africano como los discos africanos de Paul Simon y quien se preguntó por qué Lurie intentaba de un día para el otro disimular con helio su voz legendariamente grave y aterciopelada (tan pero tan parecida a la voz del gran Marvin en el disco). Pero ya sabemos: desconfiados y mala onda hubo siempre, y la verdad siempre termina abriéndose paso, o es abducida por extraterrestres, como bien lo demuestra la vida corta y feliz y desdichada y redonda de Marvin Pontiac, nacido Touré.


Texto sacado de aquí...

MARVIN PONTIAC was hit and killed by a bus in June 1977 ending the life of one of the most enigmatic geniuses of modern music. He was born in 1932, the son of an African father from Mali and a white Jewish mother from New Rochelle, New York. The father's original last name was Toure but he changed it to Pontiac when the family moved to Detroit, believing it to be a conventional American name.
Marvin's father left the family when Marvin was two years old. When his mother was institutionalized in 1936, the father returned and brought the young boy to Bamako, Mali where Marvin was raised until he was fifteen. The music that he heard there would influence him forever.
At fifteen Marvin moved by himself to Chicago where he became versed in playing blues harmonica. At the age of seventeen, Marvin was accused by the great Little Walter of copying his harmonica style. This accusation led to a fistfight outside of a small club on Maxwell Street. Losing a fight to the much smaller Little Walter was so humiliating to the young Marvin that he left Chicago and moved to Lubbock, Texas where he became a plumber's assistant.
Not much is known about him for the next three years. There are unsubstantiated rumors that Marvin may have been involved in a bank robbery in 1950. In 1952, he had a minor hit for Acorn Records with the then controversial song "I'm a Doggy." Oddly enough, unbeknownst to Marvin and his label, he simultaneously had an enormous bootleg success in Nigeria with the beautiful song "Pancakes."
His disdain and mistrust of the music business is well documented and he soon fell out with Acorn's owner, Norman Hector. Although, approached by other labels, Marvin refused to record for anyone unless the owner of the label came to his home in Slidell, La and mowed his lawn.
Reportedly Marvin's music was the only music that Jackson Pollack would ever listen to while he painted, this respect was not reciprocated. In 1970 Marvin believed that he was abducted by aliens. He felt his mother had had a similar unsettling experience, which had led to her breakdown. He stopped playing music and dedicated all of his time and energy to amicably contacting these creatures who had previously probed his body so brutally.
When he was arrested for riding a bicycle naked down the side streets of Slidell, La, it provided a sad but clear view of Marvin's coming years.
Marvin held the tribal belief that having a photograph taken of yourself could steal your soul, thus these candid shots are the only ones known to exist.
In 1971 he moved back to Detroit where he drifted forever and permanently into insanity.
Strange & beautiful


&B enigma Marvin Pontiac was born Marvin Toure in Detroit on March 30, 1932; he was the son of a Jewish New Yorker mother and Malinese African father, with the latter legally changing the family's last name to Pontiac (believing it to be a proper American surname) before abandoning his wife and child in 1934. Two years later, Pontiac's mother was institutionalized, and the boy relocated with his father to Bamako, Mali, where he absorbed the region's musical traditions before settling in Chicago at the age of 15. There he began playing the harmonica, suffering a beating at the hands of local blues legend Little Walter, who accused the teen of stealing his harp sound and signature riff. A humiliated Pontiac then hopped a bus to Lubbock, TX, where he served as a plumber's apprentice and, according to rumor, robbed a bank. He also began performing on the Louisiana-Texas club circuit.
In 1952, Pontiac signed to the Austin-based Acorn label, scoring a minor hit with the lascivious "I'm a Doggy"; somehow his records also made their way to Africa, with "Pancakes" emerging as an underground smash in Nigeria. The increasingly eccentric musician's relations with Acorn owner Norman Hector quickly became strained, however, and Pontiac only agreed to re-enter the studio on the condition that the label chief mow his lawn. Despite a small but fervent fan base -- renowned painter Jackson Pollock was reportedly such an enthusiast that he sent Pontiac several paintings which the singer promptly threw out -- he receded from performing during the mid-'50s, and little is known of his subsequent activities prior to a 1963 arrest for bicycling naked through the streets of Sidell, LA.
Pontiac next resurfaced in 1970, claiming he'd been abducted by aliens; a year later he returned to his native Detroit, where he was soon hospitalized in the Esmerelda State Mental Institution after creating a disturbance at a local International House of Pancakes. His behavior remained erratic until his death in June of 1977, when he was fatally struck by a bus; Pontiac was just 45 years old. His cult following increased exponentially over the decades, however, and in the spring of 2000, disciple John Lurie issued Marvin Pontiac's Greatest Hits through his own Strange & Beautiful label, finally wrestling the singer's music out of the hands of record collectors and making it available to the general public for the first time. Rumors that Pontiac is but a figment of Lurie's imagination continue to swirl.
Jason Ankeny

ributes for The Legendary Marvin Pontiac’s Greatest Hits:
“In my formative years, as an aspiring bass player, there was nothing I would listen to more than Marvin Pontiac” – Flea (of The Red Hot Chili Peppers)
“A dazzling collection! It strikes me that Pontiac was so uncontainably prescient that one might think that these tracks had been assembled today.” – David Bowie
“This record has changed my life.” – John Lurie
One sunny afternoon, back in 2001, I was driving between New Orleans and Washington, DC after having had one of my worst vacations ever. I had gone to New Orleans to try to not think about something and you can imagine how well that worked. Not the sort of escape that usually makes for a great vacation. Anyway, I was driving somewhere through southern swamps and my car radio was going in and out of tune. I was listening to some NPR station and there was a show on people who do things in masks. I could have sworn the show was This American Life, but in looking through their archives I could not find the story…
One of the guests on the show was John Lurie. He was talking about an album he had released on his record label Strange and Beautiful Music called The Legendary Marvin Pontiac’s Greatest Hits. Here is the Pontiac story from the label’s website:
MARVIN PONTIAC was hit and killed by a bus in June 1977 ending the life of one of the most enigmatic geniuses of modern music. He was born in 1932, the son of an African father from Mali and a white Jewish mother from New Rochelle, New York. The father’s original last name was Toure but he changed it to Pontiac when the family moved to Detroit, believing it to be a conventional American name.
Marvin’s father left the family when Marvin was two years old. When his mother was institutionalized in 1936, the father returned and brought the young boy to Bamako, Mali where Marvin was raised until he was fifteen. The music that he heard there would influence him forever.
At fifteen Marvin moved by himself to Chicago where he became versed in playing blues harmonica. At the age of seventeen, Marvin was accused by the great Little Walter of copying his harmonica style. This accusation led to a fistfight outside of a small club on Maxwell Street. Losing a fight to the much smaller Little Walter was so humiliating to the young Marvin that he left Chicago and moved to Lubbock, Texas where he became a plumber’s assistant.
Not much is known about him for the next three years. There are unsubstantiated rumors that Marvin may have been involved in a bank robbery in 1950. In 1952, he had a minor hit for Acorn Records with the then controversial song “I’m a Doggy.” Oddly enough, unbeknownst to Marvin and his label, he simultaneously had an enormous bootleg success in Nigeria with the beautiful song “Pancakes.”
His disdain and mistrust of the music business is well documented and he soon fell out with Acorn’s owner, Norman Hector. Although, approached by other labels, Marvin refused to record for anyone unless the owner of the label came to his home in Slidell, La and mowed his lawn.
Reportedly Marvin’s music was the only music that Jackson Pollack would ever listen to while he painted, this respect was not reciprocated. In 1970 Marvin believed that he was abducted by aliens. He felt his mother had had a similar unsettling experience, which had led to her breakdown. He stopped playing music and dedicated all of his time and energy to amicably contacting these creatures who had previously probed his body so brutally.
In 1971 he moved back to Detroit where he drifted forever and permanently into insanity.
And it’s all a fiction.
The music is real but the biography behind the supposed artist Marvin Pontiac comes from the same place as the music – the mind of John Lurie. When Lurie decided to release a vocal album he decided to release it under the moniker of Marvin Pontiac. Pontiac, as designed by Lurie, was an “outsider” musician who spent much of his life in an insane asylum. Reporters fell over themselves to write up this discovered artist with this haunted and beautiful music. The praise turned to anger when it was revealed that Lurie was the artist behind Pontiac (which should have been no surprise as it was released on his label).
Lurie had long been threatening his friends that he was going to release a vocal record (much like he threatened to do a fishing show). Here is Lurie in an interview with Allan Macinnis on releasing the album: “I was going to put it out without the musician’s names and really do it like it was this insane guy that people should know, and they don’t. And so they think that they want to be cool by saying ‘I knew about him all along’… then it was getting a lot of attention…I hired a publicist who, right in the middle, without even warning me, panicked and called everybody and said ‘It’s John Lurie – it’s not really a dead African guy.’ There was a guy from the Village Voice who was writing this five-page thing about this undiscovered genius and when they found out they had been duped they were furious… they liked it better when they thought he was black, they’re pissed at me!”
And on the NPR appearance I heard that sunny afternoon, “I get invited to be on NPR about people who do things in masks. I thought, perfect – that’s exactly what it was: I put on a mask, I created a character, and that was how I did this project. But I didn’t realize it was some kind of negative thing… So I went on NPR expecting to have to defend myself for doing this thing, basically, in blackface… but what she mad about was she’d bought the record because it was an insane person… So she was mad that I was pretending to be insane.”
This is a perfect example of the emphasis on biography as a means of evaluating creativity. The same critics who were heaping praise on Marvin Pontiac when it was the work on an insane, dead musician were angry when the music was by John Lurie, downtown NYC musician. Why was the music “better” when it was done by this other musician, this outsider? The music is not fake; the music is real. And it’s really good too. But, as I wrote in my recent piece on Henry Darger, an audience loves the doomed, mad artist as a romantic stereotype. The lens in which audiences listened to the music changed once the veil was lifted and their opinions then changed as well. Too bad.
Lurie no longer makes music. In 2002 Lurie came down with a neurological disease that doctors have not been able to diagnose. For years he was not able to leave his house because he was too sick. He misses music: “The sense of loss is unbelievable… my soul came through with music. Music was everything for me.” Now his outlet is painting.. Some people have said his painting is reminiscent of outsider art. As one neurologist told Lurie, “I think you’re just wired different than everybody else.”
anencounter

Espero sepan disfrutarlo, ya saben dónde encontrarlo... Y agradezcan a Marcelo que los quiere mucho.



5 comentarios:

  1. Obviamente que Marvin Pontiac no existe. Es un alter ego que invento John Lurie para grabar este disco.

    ResponderEliminar
  2. Hacia mucho que buscaba este discazo!! muchisimas graciasss!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ResponderEliminar
  3. GRacias! el link de esta maravilla?!

    ResponderEliminar
    Respuestas
    1. Hola, si querés algo que no está acá es porque tenés que ir a buscarlo a la lista de correo. Para suscribirte a ella, acá tenés una guía:

      https://cabezademoog.blogspot.com.ar/p/por-si-algun-dia-no-estamos-aca.html

      Saludos y a disfrutar, cualquier problema me avisan

      Eliminar




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