I had a yen to go to a record store the other day. I don’t go to record stores much these days. First of all, there aren’t too many record stores remaining. Secondly, I’m trying to get rid of records, not add them. But it was my birthday last week and I’ve always gotten records for my birthday — even if I had to buy them myself — and perhaps it was merely just a Pavlovian reaction from years of training: Birthday = records, records = record stores. So I took a drive out to the last remaining great record store on Long Island: Infinity Records in Massapequa Park. I’ve been going there for at least 20 or more years and there was a time I would probably take a ride out at least every other week as part of my regular route of scouring all the local stores. This time, I hadn’t been out in at least a year or so. My first stop was to check out “the wall.” The store’s owner, Joe Ostermeier, always hangs some of his best records on the wall and he always has some good jazz. Sure enough, there were three or four items of interest. Among the records I wanted to check out was one of my all-time favorites: The Tal Farlow Album, Norgran 1047. I happened to remember that my copy of this record, the
12-inch version, was in poor condition. I remembered this because the record is actually hanging on my wall in a frame, which I would never do to a record in nice shape. For my listening copy of this record I would usually go to the 10-inch version — of which I have three copies — or a 12-inch Verve with the MGM label. So I knew that I needed — yes, needed — a nice 12-inch Norgran. I looked at the condition of this one. It was quite nice. And so was the price — $50. This was reasonable and fair and one of the reasons I enjoy going to Infinity Records: They have good records, they sell them at a fair price and they don’t automatically put all of their records on eBay, as so many other record stores do this days. I bought a few other records and I spent a little time talking to Joe. But that will have to wait for another post.