Marvin Pontiac

The Legendary Marvin Pontiac (Strange and Beautiful Music - 1999)

By Rye2K


John Lurie released this record under the alter ego Marvin Pontiac.  Lurie (front man for the Lounge Lizards, star of Jim Jarmusch movies, host of TV’s “Fishing with John”) teams up with Mark Ribot, Tony Scherr, John Medeski, Billy Martin, Angélique Kidjo, among many others.

The obscure character of Marvin Pontiac is a prolific musician born in Mali in 1932, whose music was discovered posthumously.  The liner notes are filled with quotes from the likes of Leonard Cohen, Iggy Pop, and David Bowie, touting his genius.


A departure from Lurie’s intensely jazz forward Lounge Lizards, the lyrics are tinged with humor and the music seamlessly slides across blues and funk, with hypnotic drives eliciting something between Ali Farke Touré and early Talking Heads, but never quite lands in any of those spaces.


At release there was no mention of Lurie, just a bizarre legend and 14 tracks to get lost in.