Calle 54 (2000): Great Jazz Docu by Oscar Winner Fernando Trueba


Spanish filmmaker Fernando Trueba claims that he became a devoted fan of Latin jazz ever since he was introduced to it, back in the 1980s.

After asking jazz artists to score some of his films, Trueba decided to make the documentary “Calle 54,” in which he assembled some of his favorite Latin jazz artists for a series of interviews and performances at the Sony Music recording studios in New York City.

The artists include two pioneering Latin jazz stars, percussionist Tito Puente and horn player Paquito D’Rivera, as well as father-and-son piano duo Bebo Valdes and Chucho Valdes, Gato Barbieri and his tenor sax, the New York-based ensemble Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band, and veteran pianists Chico O’Farrill and Eliane Elias.

Clearly a labor of love, “Calle 54” is essentially a performance film, with scenes that show the recording process of music and of individual artists talking about their social backgrounds and their work.

Running Time: 106 Minutes