Calle 54 (2000) Movie Script

In the early '80s,
a friend gave me...
a record that complicated
my life.
It got me hooked on Latin jazz.
In 1 995, for the final scene
of my film, Two Much...
some of my favorite musicians...
played in Miami's Lincoln Road.
It was a highlight
of my filmmaking career.
A magical night.
I was filming the miracle of music.
That's when I began dreaming...
of a whole film about this
most exciting form of music.
"CALLE 54"
"New Jersey"
Paquito D'Rivera was born
with a sax.
Tito Rivera, his father,
a classical saxophonist...
ordered Paquito's first sax
when he was only three.
Paquito became a child prodigy.
"The world's smallest sax player"
"Paquito D'Rivera"
I owe a great debt to Paquito.
There's no remedy for the blues
like the sound of his sax.
A Paquito solo can brighten
the darkest day.
Dad's best gift wasn't my sax
but my mother.
Eliane Elias--
Latin jazz in all its elegance.
Born in Sao Paolo, she was
the daughter of a classical pianist.
She began playing piano in her teens
with Vinicius de Moraes...
remaining with him until his death.
"Puerto de Santa Maria"
"(Cadiz, Espana)"
For years, there were many attempts
to merge flamenco and jazz.
Most remained attempts,
impressive as some were.
Chano Dominguez was the first
"bilingual"musician of the form.
His music produced a miracle--
a handshake between
Monk and Camaron.
"The Bronx"
"(New York)"
In the late '60s...
Puerto Ricans clashed with police.
It climaxed in an assault
on a Bronx precinct house.
The quarter was dubbed
"Fort Apache. "
Hence the name of the group
formed by the Gonzalez brothers...
Jerry and Andy.'
The Fort Apache Band.
Andy visits the old family home
where he andJerry grew up.
Some of the big hits
of the '70s were created here.
Here, tradition and the avant-garde,
old and new, merged.
Dizzy Gillespie played with them
when they were still kids.
The room under the stairs
was Jerry and Andy's.
Jerry's back
in his parents'homeland--
Puerto Rico.
"San Juan"
"(Puerto Rico)"
He's the poete maudit of Latin jazz,
the last Caribbean pirate.
No one's ever seen him
without his trumpet.
Yeah. And I wanna hear three clicks
before the downbeat.
Let's do it! Okay.
"Betty Talks about Liz"
Michel Camilo is one
of the top all-round musicians.
Whether it's jazz, classical,
Latin American music or film music...
Michel is in his element.
Every time I see him play...
I feel like I'm witnessing
a miracle.
"New York"
Little horsey, how's it going?
Gato Barbieri was the revolutionary
of Latin jazz.
Aproduct of May '68,
he is one of the last survivors.
I was famous from the '7 0s
up till '82.
It was a great time because things...
were electric between music
and filmmakers.
We formed one big family--
Glauber, Godard, Pasolini...
Antonio das Mortes.
It's impossible to live
without Rossellini.
I stopped recording in '82...
and I only started again in '96...
because I saw music
was like a toboggan...
going downhill fast.
For years I lived in a cocoon...
cut off from everything.
The mood wasn't like before,
The cinema back then,
the music back then...
that's all changed now.
All I want is to play.
That's what makes me feel free.
It's cold out, but...
it was a nice journey.
I wrote this piece...
like it was for a movie.
First we're in Macchu Picchu,
then we'll be in Bolivia.
I'm quiet as a lagoon bird...
but sometimes I'm a puma.
This is my mother,
Ercilia Ortiz Puente.
Okay, let's get started.
This is the restaurant
ofTito Puente.
At your service.
Let me show you
a few of our murals...
designed to help our young people...
remember our music, our culture.
This is the king of Latin jazz,
who wrote "Manteca"...
"Tin Tin Deo"
and "Night in Tunisia"...
and all those famous standards,
Dizzy Gillespie.
We're indebted to him
for the growth of Latin jazz.
Here's one of my mentors,
Mr. Mario Bauza.
Mario is another pillar
of Latin jazz...
the author of standards
like "Tanga."
Another mentor, the great Machito...
who contributed to our music...
and the spread of Latin American
music here in the US.
Cal Tjader, the great
vibes player of Latin jazz.
Also very famous.
Next to him is my brother,
Charlie Palmieri...
a great veteran pianist.
He started the Duboney Orchestra...
and conducted
several recordings for me.
The great Miles Davis...
the famous trumpeter
who loved Latin music.
He'd hang out in Latin bars
listening to congas and bongos.
This is Mongo Santamaria...
a master of the conga for years.
Next to him is the great Cachao.
Double bass player.
He's still king of the bass.
Next to him is the great Chano Pozo,
the composer of "Manteca"...
and other standards
with Dizzy Gillespie.
All these musicians are pillars
of Latin jazz in this country.
I grew up with them.
Today, Tito has his place
in the Latin jazz pantheon...
alongside the fathers of the music
of which he was the king.
"Tito Puente's"
"La Habana"
I'm taking a walk. I haven't been
here in years. It's changed.
How's it going?
When Chucho Valdes was a kid,
his father, the great bebo...
head of the Tropicana Orchestra,
brought him to hear the stars here.
Bebo, my father,
took me to the shows.
Everything playing at the Tropicana.
I think the Tropicana
was an important stage...
in the careers
of Cuban musicians.
The best in Cuban music...
and the best artists
came through there.
I'm the sender.
I'm gonna treasure this shirt!
"New York"
Sundays, Chico O'Farrill,
a Cuban of Irish stock...
who came to New York
in the late '40s...
conducts his big band
at the club.
This is it.
Chico started out playing trumpet...
but turned to composing
and arranging...
for the bands of Machito, Count basie...
"Jazz Nightly"
Stan Kenton and benny Goodman.
Chico was the architect of Latin jazz
which he launched worldwide.
As he says.'
"The big band is my instrument. "
The next one
we would like to play for you...
the band recorded version...
by "the Bird", Charlie Parker,
Flip Phillips, and Buddy Rich.
It's called "Afro Cuban Jazz Suite."
bebo Valdes, Chucho's father...
was bandleader at the Tropicana
when he left Cuba in 1 960.
On a European tour,
he fell in love with a Swede.
Abandoning everything, he retired
to Stockholm with his new family.
He spent 20 years
playing in hotel bars.
I fell madly in love
with this woman.
And I still love her.
It's been 37 years.
I'm old now, but I look at her
and it's still like the first day.
I invited bebo to play
with Israel Lopez "Cachao"...
a Cuban 20 days his junior
and a friend for more than 60 years.
both started playing
in short pants...
but this is their
first recording together.
Go on, say "seven!"
Cachao, say "seven!"
Afro-Cuban music
and Caribbean music...
have the same roots.
These roots are in Africa.
When Monk played the piano,
he'd suddenly jump up and dance.
He'd do steps that were signals
to the percussionist...
to hit harder--
and bang--
with the foot...
like a rumba dancer.
I think the basic rhythm
comes from Africa.
When he got up to dance,
he was like a rumba dancer.
A genuine rumba dancer,
really African!
Afro-Cuban music and jazz...
are like cousins.
And their common grandfather
is Africa.
bebo Valdes had boasted
of a granddaughter...
who won an Italian prize for piano.
Like his other Cuban grandchildren,
he'd never met her.
"Sony Music Studios"
Chucho Valdes hadn't seen
his father in five years.
We met in New York. I invited them
to do a dialogue with two pianos.
Hey, you're as fat as a toad!
Everything's fine, Dad.
Glad to be back here.