I had planned to visit Old School during an overly ambitious trip I attempted a number of weeks ago. For today's 're-do', I found myself in the area visiting an estate sale just a few blocks away. I walked over and came out on Madison Ave. at Beloit St. I turned my head to and fro looking for a sign, I knew the record store was close...but where? I was about to check my phone when I added a few degrees to my head's arc and alas, there she stood!
The jazz section was right inside the door - I jumped straight in. The bins were a bit overstuffed and the name cards were a bit tattered but I went through each and every disc. I got to about 'M' and was wondering where the section continued and found the answer to be a rare one - they actually continued below. Almost always, this area is reserved for doubles of the records in the bins above, or 'bargain' records, or both. So onto my knees I got, I honestly had to stick my head and torso inside to get to the backs.
After visiting the sections A continuing to Z, I pulled out 3 releases:
1) George Benson - 'The Other Side of Abbey Road'. I found this almost immediately and took it to be a great omen for the hunt to follow. While not rare, never came across this before.
2) K & J.J. - 'Betwixt and Between'. I have been listening to 'Isreal' like mad after picking it up a few weeks ago. Definitely a fan and moreso as this is one of three 3000 series CTI releases with alternate cover template.
As for #3, I found my biggest treat of the day in the last section for compilations. Mistakenly placed, this CTI release actually caused me to explain 'oh yeah!' quietly to myself. I glanced at the musicians involved and saw Ray Beckenstein. Surely this must be the father of sax man Jay from Spyro Gyra. Unbelievably it is not but it does look like Ray played with Shep Fields - who I know all too well.
Luckily the poor acoustics of the inside of the record bin in which I currently resided prevented my fist pumping voice from carrying to the others in the store. One gentleman behind the cash register (likely the proprietor) was chatting with a customer and another man in the store who seemed to work/hang out/etc. After an extensive (and honestly impressive) discussion about kraut rock, world beat and other European artists, the customer left. The 'employee' then went on a longer verbal jaunt about his autistic nephew who likes sour cream and cheddar potato chips but only the coating - so he licks them off and puts them back in the bag. And as luck would have it, some other member of the family actually ate some. I still feel a bit sick thinking of this and he went on...and on. He touched on the young disabled fellows eating habits in general which also included Tootsie Pops (but only the red ones - his mother actually contacted the manufacturer asking if she could procure that solitary color. According to lore, they obliged with 'like a 10 pound bag') and also Home Run Inn frozen pizzas, which must be cut into a certain size/shape or will be left uneaten. Brain troubles aside, his nutritional intake leaves much to be desired.
I knew that many or all of the Latin jazz releases I was looking for were absent in the jazz bins I had just investigated so I peered about for a Latin section. I found it quickly and while small, it contained a bevy of excellent releases, two of which I had zero doubts about walking away with:
1) Antonio Carlos Jobim - 'Wave'. I am listening to this right now. It is just a no brainer, especially given my long journey through bossa nova which began with Brasil '66 many years ago. I don't know how anyone would have trouble enjoying this but my familiarity with some of these standards makes it that much sweeter. I wonder how many versions I have of some of these songs like 'Wave'. I am a little surprised at the small amount of vocals on the album in it's entirety - though that doesn't disappoint me whatsoever.
2) Walter Wanderley - 'Rain Forest'. My WW journey has been an interesting one that started with a thrift store find that screamed out YOU'LL LOVE THIS to the far more melodically addictive Cheganca to the roughly disappointing Kee-Ka-Roo (despite adorable title). A few weeks ago I was perusing WWs discography deciding what album to purchase next (if I were to use the internetz) and this seemed appealing. I came across it physically not long ago (perhaps at Val's? I don't remember) but the price was prohibitive. Haven't listened to this yet (blame Tom Jobim) but very excited.
This put a total of five records in my hands and total value exceeded $30. This was a quantity and cost beyond anything I have spent at one shop in a long time, perhaps ever. The Benson album I could part with as it was pretty beat (but only 3.99) and also this is probably the 3000 series album I desire the least (though I'm sure I will purchase it eventually to complete the roster one day). So I do not regret returning that to the bin. The K & JJ album however is already driving me bonkers and should be filed along with the Herbie Mann album I returned for recently under 'albums left behind which then cause excessive anxiety at the thought that a return visit will prove fruitless as another more sensible shopper will have already whisked them away'. Ironically, while there are not many albums inside this theoretical manila envelope, the tab designed for titling is rather large indeed.
I paid the cost for my records and on the way out commented to the cashier that I was half tempted to make him an offer on the Neko Case poster on the wall. He said that she was the main endorser of the event in 2013 (apparently the choose an artist to do so annually) and that the poster next to it (Tom Waits) did the same the year previous. I joked that Tom Waits interests me far less than Neko - surely in terms of their art as I adore Neko's music and also the potential for her to grace my walls, while Tom stinks in both regards. (I was not quite so verbose in the store). Of course the 'employee' had to pipe up at this point as he makes a living filing records 1% of the time and running his mouth the rest of the time. He mentioned that Chuck D (of Public Enemy) was going to fill this role in 2014 and quipped that he hoped Chuck would visit stores and reference the song "Can't Do Nuttin' For Ya Man" when people asked if the store stocked a certain release. I laughed but then determined this was fair game to make a tiny attempt to set this person straight. I related that while it is a good idea, its not entirely appropriate because that is one of the few Public Enemy songs that Flavor Flav raps himself. I may not own any PE vinyl but I purchase that cassette tape before I was even in high school and listened to it until it was committed to memory.
|I stupidly did not take any pics inside the store and felt foolish to re-enter in order to do so. You are left with this acceptable albeit reflective photo as a result. Chew it up or spit it out, you are free.|
|I actually rode 4 different Pace Buses today - this is a personal record I believe.|