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Best Jazz Vinyl 

Groove Yard

5555 Claremont (at Forest), Oakland, (510) 655-8400

Though there are plenty of good rationalizations -- aesthetic and auditory -- for collecting jazz on vinyl, the pursuit often gets vilified as inherently pretentious, like knowing how to fox trot or writing a villanelle. We'd like to yank the white ear buds out of those businessmen on BART who tap their toes to 20 gigs of digitized swing and drag them into Groove Yard. The place is like something out of a jazz elitist's dream: rows of pristine vinyl, expertly sorted, with a couple of boisterous regulars perched on lawn chairs by the door to cackle at any patron who picks up one of the Dave Brubeck records (which seem to be there as a kind of test). For the budget jazzhead there are scores of deals under $10, but the soul of the shop is as enduring as the records within.


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