Thursday, March 6, 2014

Val's Halla Records, Oak Park

Came through Val's after a segueway into the Brown Elephant to find an unattended store.  A voice called out from the back room, and soon appeared an older woman carrying a large plate of garlic bread.  This must be Val.  She was cordial and asked if I was looking for anything in particular.  I never am, and this question always seems overwhelming to me - like I should have pinpointed my wants long before I left home.  But the question was only asked with the best of intentions (it usually is).  

I found a large jazz section that contained a number of attractive records.  I was looking for a record to complete a trade with a colleague and held Return to Forever's Greatest Hits in my hand - but replaced it in the bin when I looked at the atrocious track listing.  How any songs from 'Musicmagic' can appear on a RTF 'best of' is beyond me.  Who was the executive producer, Gayle Moran?  This record serves as a poor introductory record to the non-fan, and a possibly even less listenable release to someone already acquainted with their music.

After picking up an late 50s Atlantic release from Herbie Mann, I came across this - which boasts appearances from Jobim and Mendes.  I knew I'd be leaving with this record, and I did.  I did come across another Joe Farrell release but the hometown boy's albums usually do fetch a few bucks and this was no exception - too rich for my blood.  (Ironically - or not - I see it available now for ~$2!)

All in all a solid record store with a neighborhood feel, you don't get the idea that dorks looking for novelty records for their novelty collections shop here.  Almost overlooked, great shop.

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