This is the soundtrack album to Leon Ichaso's biopic of Puerto Rican street poet Miguel Pinero, maybe best known for his play about prison life, "Short Eyes. The film itself was described this way in a New York Times review: "The movie, a flashy montage, which jumps around in time and alternates between color and black & white, lacks narrative cohesion. But its agitated style mirrors Pinero's streetwise pre-rap poetry...
Given all of the above, it is no surprise that the soundtrack is highly episodic, consisting of 27 tracks, the majority lasting under two minutes. In typical soundtrack fashion, most titles are prosaic descriptions of scenes from the movie, such as Miguel Leaves Puerto Rico or "Mother's Prison Visit. Despite the rapid changes of scene, the album achieves an impressive coherence, especially given that Hanrahan put together the album by combining newly recorded material with tracks from past albums he produced.
The predominant sound is a low-key, noir-ish Latin jazz fusion, dominated by electric bass, percussion and trumpet, which creates an oppressive sense of imminent danger. The film stars Benjamin Bratt, who voices some atmospheric scene-setting sections of the album; these are used sparingly enough so as not to intrude, but to enhance the air of sleaze and menace. In a large ensemble cast of musicians, key performances come from pianist Edsel Gomez, bass guitarist Fernandez Saunders and particularly trumpeter Jerry Gonzalez.
Miguel Leaves Puerto Rico; Exterior New York - Night; Shahrazade and the Opening of the First Shadow Night [Mikey Enters The Shooting Gallery]; Parole Hearing; Three Card Monte; Stealing The Furs Boogaloo; Childhood Damage; Look, the Moon (Diahnne
Edsel Gomez, piano; Benjamin Bratt, voice; Peter Scherer, keyboards, electric piano;
Puntilla; Orlando Rios, voice, bata; Abraham Rodriguez, voice, bata; Felix Sanabria, voice,
bata; Jerry Gonzalez, trumpet, quinto; Robby Ameen, trap drums, percussion; Fernando
Saunders, electric bass, electric cello; Andy Gonzalez, bass; Milton Cardona, congas,
quinto, percussion, coro; Lysandro Arias, piano; Chocolate Armenteros, trumpet; Kip
Hanrahan, percussion; Mario Rivera, baritone sax; Papo Vasquez, trombone; Alfredo Triff,
violin; El Negro Horacio Hernandez, trap drums, percussion; Amadito Valdez, timbales;
Paoli Mejias, congas; Richie Flores, congas; Mauricio Smith, flute; Carlos Alberto Gonzalez,
cuatro; Eric Valez, congas; Frankie Rodriguez, lead vocals; Carlos Mestre, congas; Edgardo
Miranda, custro; Vincento George, guiro; Micky Marrero, timbales; Yomo Toro, cuatro; Leo
Nocentelli, guitar; Mike Cain, piano; phew!