"Calle 54" Is Released

Calle 54 is a 2000 documentary film about Latin jazz by Spanish director Fernando Trueba.

With only minimal introductory voiceovers, the film consists of studio performances by a wide array of Latin Jazz musicians. Artists featured include Chucho Valdés, Bebo Valdés, Eliane Elias, Gato Barbieri, Tito Puente, Paquito D'Rivera, Chano Domínguez and Michel Camilo.

The title takes its name from Sony Music Studios (where much of the film was shot) which are located on 54th Street in New York City.

Fernando Trueba's wonderful documentary tribute to Latin jazz is a pure expression of the director's love for the music, a love so infectious it should leave you elated. The picture is bound to draw comparisons to "The Buena Vista Social Club," but it is closer in spirit to "The Last Waltz" in that it mounts a respectful staging of the songs by its performers with an ease and classiness not lavished on jazz since the black-and-white jazz shorts of the 1930's and 40's. That was probably the last time jazz musicians have been treated as well by the medium. -- Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times