Have you ever stepped off the Franklin ave. C train and wondered where those sultry sounds to the west were coming from? Some might be surprised to learn it's a record shop. It is owned and presided over by an extremely nice gentleman by the name of Israel. The shop exists underground and has a vigil knight in armor guarding its steps. The treasure trove of wax that awaits you at the bottom of the stairs contains a collection of Soul, Jazz, R & B, Funk, and Pop records to make any audiophile's mouth water.
I spoke to Israel about the shop and he explained that it started as a thrift store, but the records just naturally took over as full time merchandise. The store has been open for 13 years and Israel has been in the neighborhood for 30. His uncle used to own the building on top of the store and at one point that building was also where Israel resided. The record store is operated by a true music enthusiast and it showed -- he was unable to tell me what some of his favorite records were. I should know better by now than to ask a question like that but the temptation always arises out of an irresistible curiosity.
As a fan of Jazz, I couldn't help but gravitate towards an LP of a live session at the Village Vanguard that featured the likes of Chick Corea and Elvin Jones. The shop has quite a range of material: Coltrane, the Eisley Brothers, Michael Jackson, and even a rare Batman (circa Adam West) soundtrack that Israel made sure I got a picture of. This record shop is committed to nostalgia in an enticing way. Israel has collected a tremendous amount of original pressings by buying other people's collections (the first collection he bought was his brother's). He will let the other guys fiddle with reissues and compact discs.
I suggest that anyone with a phonograph, record player, turn table (or whatever you call it) to head over to Israel's shop. It is located on Fulton street just west of the Franklin ave. C train stop. It's open from 12-8 everyday except for Saturday and on Fridays it usually closes by sundown. As Israel will remind you, just watch your head when leaving the shop.