'Round about Tete' brings together over 90 testimonies on the life and work of jazz pianist Tete Montoliu
BARCELONA, Oct. 12
Journalist Pere Pons offers a "kaleidoscopic" look into the life and work of Catalan jazz pianist Tete Montoliu (1933-1997) in the book 'Round about Tete'. The book gathers articles, opinions, letters, photographs, and other documents from over 90 people who knew him both professionally and personally, such as Joan Margarit, Núria Feliu, and Manuel Vázquez Montalbán.
In an interview with Europa Press, Pons explained that his intention is for the book, published on September 18 by Llibres del Kultrum in Catalan and Spanish, to also be released in English to promote and spread awareness of Montoliu's legacy, which he believes is not adequately recognized.
Pons has championed Montoliu as a great figure in global music, a universal talent who released over a hundred albums during his lifetime, comparable to Pau Casals and playing "in the same league as those who revolutionized 20th-century music."
He stressed that being a blind musician in a "gray country" during the dictatorship led Montoliu to have a strong character, a tumultuous life, and to not be politically correct. He highlighted that it was a privilege to know him.
'Round about Tete' also allows readers to discover Montoliu's more personal and intimate side, from his childhood to his relationships with women and alcohol, as well as his "controversial and contradictory" aspects.
Regarding contemporary jazz in Catalonia, Pons expressed his opinion that the sector is "better than ever in terms of creation but worse than ever in terms of dissemination". He added that technically impeccable musicians with a musical personality are neglected and invisible.
He warned that jazz in Catalonia has "few media spaces, little attention from institutions, and difficulties in being programmed" because there is more focus on international talent. He contrasted this with jazz in France, stating that the Jazz Festival of France is obligated to include 60% of French artists in its lineup.