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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Jazz > Candido - Hands Of Fire

Candido Hands Of Fire


Picture: C+ Sound: C Extras: D Documentary: B



Candido Camero is a major innovator in Jazz percussion, but unless you love music and are a Jazz aficionado, you likely have not heard of him. That is why you should go out of your way to see Candido Hands Of Fire, a too-short but rich documentary on the life and contributions of the genius drummer and his journey from Cuba to The United States. In interviews and well-researched history, Camero clicks instantly with giants like Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Tony Bennett, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Billy Taylor, Celia Cruz, Frank Sinatra and literally thousands of other musicians form the Big Band era to date.


In a mix of very old footage and newly taped footage, we learn in pretty chronological order how Camero brought a sound, energy and instinct that became a square root for drumming in Jazz and beyond all the way to the Rock genre and Sheila E. Even in his 70s, he still has it, as the occasional performance shows. The main program runs 68 minutes and cannot run long enough. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of an appreciation of a key artist ignored by the mainstream for far too long.


The letterboxed 1.78 X 1 image sometimes offers some unusually soft images, but this is still a documentary so some of the footage is expected to be poor. All of it is still very interesting and considering Cuba, it is amazing any footage survives. The PCM 2.0 16bit/48kHz sound is simple stereo at best, features more reverb than wed like and varies throughout more than usual for a documentary. This is particularly and unfortunately noticeable when music plays. There are no extras, though some could have fit.



- Nicholas Sheffo


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