Top positive review
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A LITTLE FICTION, A LITTLE FUSION, A LOT OF FUN!
on August 30, 2002
Oddly enough, I stumbled upon Marvin Pontiac in January while reading Elmore Leonard's "Tishomingo Blues". In the book, fictional character Robert Taylor plays "guess that tune" with another character in the book. The tune in the novel is "I'm a Doggy" which, according to the novel, purportedly was recorded in 1952 and soon became a minor hit. In the novel, Robert Taylor reports that Mr. Pontiac only recorded one album during his career and only after the producer agreed to mow Pontiac's lawn. Other accounts of Mr. Pontiac life are just as mysterious. Some say he went insane after claiming to have been abducted and probed by aliens and he died in 1970 at the Esmerelda State Mental Institution in Detroit. Other accounts report that he was hit and killed by a bus in June of 1977. All in all, his life and death is probably the biggest sham since the "Paul Is Dead" rumors and clues circulated in the 70's. Careful attention to the liner notes reveals that Pontiac is, in fact nothing more than, the alter ego of John Lurie. Most notably, the lone recording of Pontiac appears on Lurie's label, "Strange & Beautiful" which did not exist in 1952 when Pontiac purportedly recorded and released "I'm A Doggy". Moreover, the CD features musicians that include Lurie's brother Evan, John Medeski and Marc Ribot who would have been infants at the time of the actual 1952 recording. Finally, this CD was recorded in 2000, 30 years after the latest purported death of Pontiac. Are these the vocals of a dead man or just Lurie having a little fun? I suspect it's the latter. Whatever the reason for the deception, the CD itself is delightful to listen to. It features an array of styles from back porch blues to lounge lizard jazz. All complimented with Lurie's Barry White styled vocals. Alter ego's aside, this is a fine production by Lurie. I am just sorry that Lurie buried Pontiac without recording a sequel. Buy it and contemplate the mystery while you enjoy the music.