With luck, "Calle 54," the essential Latin-jazz film from noted Spanish director Fernando Trueba, will yield a tidal wave of attention for the genre. The exuberant performances were captured in pristine sound at the Sony studio on the titular street in New York and heard in all their glory on the soundtrack.
Cuban-born alto saxophone and clarinet dynamo Paquito D'Rivera leads his 12-piece band through the anthemlike suite "Panamericana." Grooving Afro-Cuban and Caribbean rhythms are at the center of "Earth Dance" from trumpeter-percussionist Jerry Gonzalez & the Fort Apache Band, as well as the late Tito Puente's "New Arrival." Bebo Valdes, the pioneering Cuban jazz pianist, hooks up with son Chucho Valdes for a duet that may go into the history books.