Jazz Record MartNear North | Website
Browse among 20,000 CDs and 30,000 LP albums, plus cassette tapes, posters, T-shirts, music charts, videos, postcards, listening stations and a computerized recording database all presented by Bob Koester, founder of the Delmark Records label. He opened the store in 1958; this location debuted May 30, 1995. The extensive selection of jazz and blues music is complemented with an international section of music from Cuba, Latin America, Africa, Brazil and other locales. The staff is knowledgeable but not snobbish, and often can help track down unusual recordings or make recommendations based on customer preferences. The store does particularly well during Chicago music events such as Blues and Jazz Festivals. Stock includes rarities from the beginning of recorded music up to contemporary stuff. (The average record store, if it has a jazz section, probably hasn't heard about Sidney Bechet or Roscoe Mitchell.) The store has a stage with seating for 50-60 people, with standing room for an additional 15-20, to hear visiting and local musicians (typically twice monthly). Jazz Record Mart publishes its own quarterly newsletter/catalog, Rhythm & News.