Far from the twin epicenters of New York
and Miami, Carlos Ruiz and his Ebirac
label were both feeling and generating the
aftershocks of the mid-'70s salsa boom.
Holed up in their own bustling Puerto
Rican community center on Chicago's west
side, these third coast salseros plied their
trade outside the hot lights, cutting their
teeth in city parks, VFW halls, and Holiday
Inn rec rooms. Nearly 50 records survive
in the wake of orquestas La Justicia, La
Solucion, and Tipica Leal '79, the most
impassioned, singular moments of which
are compiled here.