Various Salsa Boricua de Chicago

Various Salsa Boricua de Chicago
The biggest city of America's interior, Chicago, has had little recorded history of Latin music until now. With this compilation, the Numero Group answers a question that few were asking and comes up with above average salsa experimentation that bridges some gaps between NYC's salsa pacesetting and Santana's mystic California guitar. Though the personnel on this comp are largely of Puerto Rican heritage, the rhythms are pretty straight-up Cuban, as was the case in NYC. There are one or two Puerto Rican plenas, and a pleasantly dark samba jazz track called "Stone Flower" by Justicia, the standout group represented here. This is definitely an urban record ― the recording quality and choice of instruments reflect if not a well-appointed studio at least a large collection of competent musicians. It's an entertaining listen because you can hear cues coming from all over Latin America and the U.S., but it's blended together reasonably freshly. This music might not have had the chance to change the world, but it represented another outpost in the ever-expanding Latin Diaspora of the '70s. (Numero Group)