Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and romantic desire unites them, but their journey - in the tradition of the Latin ballad, the bolero - brings heartache and torment.
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Fernando Trueba presents his love affair with Latin jazz, his camera following 13 giants into the studio. Trueba drapes walls with single colors - red for Jerry González and the Fort Apache band, white for Tito Puente; his camera is close to faces, instruments, hands, and feet; bands' colors contrast with walls or their leader's clothes. Chucho Valdés does a pyrotechnic solo then joins his aged father Bebo for a subdued duet. Puntilla Ríos takes us to Africa, Chano Domínguez to a marriage of jazz and Flamenco, and Eliane Elias, her shoe-less foot on the pedal, to gorgeous and muscular elegance. With Paquito, Cachao, Patato, Chico, Gato, and Michel Camilo, we travel Calle 54. Written by
Jerry González is shown in concert repeating the names of the featured performers of the film while the screen splits into multiple part with each featuring footage and the name of each performer as the names are called out. In addition there are smaller boxes with the other bandmembers and their names seen in this film. See more »
Gestures and nuances makes it feel like live concert, not movie.
It was just by chance that my husband and I happened to see this movie and we were so glad we did. We are Puerto Ricans living in Texas, and we've enjoyed listening to Latin jazz and Afro Cuban music since we were younger, but we hadn't heard of this movie before. Watching this movie was like -or even better than- being at a live concert because we saw it in a big screen at a local theater (a more intimate environment), and you could tell everyone in the small audience felt the same way we did about the music. We were all so enthralled by the experience that we even applauded after every genially performed selection.
The music was superb, and the musicians... out of this world. What technique!!! The way the musicians felt while performing was vibrant and contagious, it kept you on the edge of your seat, keeping the beat, and you only realized that it was a movie when the camera was able to capture gestures and nuances seldom perceived in a concert. It was an unforgettable experience to see musicians that are not alive anymore perform their craft in a way that will remain a lifelong memory. Fernando Trueba was a visionary when he decided to pay homage to these musicians and we'll try to follow in his footsteps. We plan to purchase the DVD and CD so we can enjoy this wonderful music again and again.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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