The latest behemoth to jump on the Latin-music bandwagon is Atlantic Records, which next month will begin licensing and distributing releases from Caliente, a New York specialty indie. The second such release, due April 20, will be Jugando con candela, by Cuba’s Adalberto Alvarez y Su Son. Alvarez, although largely unknown in this country, is a towering figure throughout Latin America and Europe, a master who in the late 70s helped revive the sound of classic bands led by Arsenio Rodriguez and Felix Chapotin with his own great group Son 14. His original compositions have since been performed by major artists from Eddie Palmieri to Oscar D’Leon. In 1984 he founded the 11-member combo he leads today, bringing in electric keyboards and synthesizers, sophisticated vocal arrangements, and bits of pop and reggae, and edging toward a slightly less bright, more romantic, and more commercial sound. While some of the contemporary material is on the schmaltzy side, the band’s rhythmic drive and Aramis Galindo’s terrific vocals help send it down easy. Wednesday, 8 PM, HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo; 312-362-9707. Peter Margasak

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Luis Mallo.