Latin jazz enthusiasts will rejoice as they sway to the exotic sounds of director Fernando Trueba's musical mosaic Calle 54, a testament to Trueba's appreciation for this style of music and the celebrated artists responsible for producing this lyrical landscape. But though the music featured in this finger-snapping anthology is indeed infectious, Trueba never really provides any insight into the genre or the talents responsible for igniting the movement. Calle 54 is a festive experience for those who are willing to embrace Latin jazz, but it doesn't reveal anything beyond a peek at a two hour celluloid concert in session.
Inevitably, Calle 54 will beg comparisons to the highly-charged jolt of Buena Vista Social Club. What made Buena Vista so frothy and enticing was its emphasis on the biographical stamp of the artists and what the music meant to that society's psyche. In Calle 54, Trueba parades around a who's who of Latin musicians and lets the music flow, but without invoking any emotion.
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