Mosaic Records

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"Mosaic Records is an American jazz record company and label established in 1982 by Michael Cuscuna and Charlie Lourie. It produces limited-edition box sets that are available only by mail.[1]

The sets recordings are leased from the major record companies, usually for a three- or five-year period, with the edition limited to a specific number of copies typically 5,000."

Has anybody here ever listened or bought anything from them?

Tracer Hand, Sunday, 6 June 2021 22:25 (two weeks ago) link

Got the Anthony Braxton set when it came out. It was great to have all his long OOP major label stuff on CD but it was presented in a slightly weird way, out of sync with the original releases.

joni mitchell jarre (anagram), Sunday, 6 June 2021 22:32 (two weeks ago) link

I've owned a bunch of their sets over the years, including:

The Complete Hank Mobley Blue Note Fifties Sessions
The Complete Lee Morgan Blue Note Fifties Sessions
The Complete Novus & Columbia Recordings of Henry Threadgill
Classic Savoy Bebop Sessions 1945-49
The Complete Dial Modern Jazz Sessions
The Complete Arista Recordings of Anthony Braxton (still have this one)
Woody Shaw: The Complete Muse Sessions (still have this one)
The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia & RCA Victor Studio Sessions 1946-66 (still have this one but am planning to sell it)

I've also owned some of their 3CD "Mosaic Select" sets by Grachan Moncur III and Carmell Jones, and I still have some of those, by Andrew Hill, Big John Patton, and McCoy Tyner.

but also fuck you (unperson), Sunday, 6 June 2021 23:20 (two weeks ago) link

I got the Herbie Nichols box, a lonnng time ago, after reading Four Lives In The Bebop Business: fascinating music, stirring and glinting in the dark, the best CD sound I'd heard, splendid book with it, the text and pix and printing. Never got anything else, because yeah I dig the Nat Cole Trios, but don't need like 200 tracks, esp. on my budget, and several set incl. some albums I already had. Also, they license material, or they did then, and eventually the rights revert to the label, so for instance Blue Note later reissued at least some of the Nichols, But I'm glad I got it---they kept sending me beautiful catalogs, but I just never got that financially motivated again (also, they were pretty bopcentric way back then, much more than I was, or am)(o shit I didn't know they did that Braxton box though.)

dow, Sunday, 6 June 2021 23:33 (two weeks ago) link

Or the Threadgill! But again, I've got some of that as individual albums.

dow, Sunday, 6 June 2021 23:35 (two weeks ago) link

Own and love several of the Mosaic Select sets. Some of those were (/are) the only way some essential Blue Notes were ever reissued.

Very, very classic.

things repeat forever and there never is a remedy (Austin), Sunday, 6 June 2021 23:36 (two weeks ago) link

The Peggy Lee/June Christy Capitol radio transcriptions set is wonderful.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Sunday, 6 June 2021 23:57 (two weeks ago) link

I bought the Braxton, Cecil Taylor, and Andrew Hill sets when they were new (fortunately). More recently, I picked up the Lester Young/Basie set, and the Ellington’32-‘40 set. About 20 years ago, I found the Ellington Reprise set new in a record store; not sure why, but apparently there was some sorta gray area with that set’s distribution.

In the ‘90s and early ‘00s, it wasn’t the worst thing to miss out on, say, a complete Blue Note Mosaic set. Often times, after the set sold out, Blue Note would reissue the individual albums on CD (as dow alluded to) with bonus tracks, so you could get everything that had been on the Mosaic box. But sometimes it could be frustrating: not wanting to pay $500 for a used Elvin Jones Blue Note Mosaic, I was able to find all the albums on CD for super cheap...except for about 6 songs that were only otherwise released on a 2LP Blue Note set in the ‘70s.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 7 June 2021 00:26 (two weeks ago) link

I always wanted Mosaic to put out a Complete Saturn Recordings Of Sun Ra set, but I think that would’ve been impossible.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 7 June 2021 00:27 (two weeks ago) link

I forgot they did a Cecil box. Their remasters were probably the source material for this later budget box I bought:

but also fuck you (unperson), Monday, 7 June 2021 00:56 (two weeks ago) link

Someone made what I thought was an interesting comment on Discogs regarding the availability of the Braxton box. 5000 copies made, but not a single copy up for sale on Discogs. Obviously people tend to hang on to these sets, plus I think the distribution model (only available direct from the label, not through distros) means that the people who buy these sets tend to be committed fans of the music who are unlikely to sell them on.

joni mitchell jarre (anagram), Monday, 7 June 2021 07:55 (two weeks ago) link

They really gauged demand perfectly on that one; at the time it was released, all the Arista albums were out of print, plus they really did a fantastic job with the remastering and the booklet and everything else. I know I'll never get rid of mine.

but also fuck you (unperson), Monday, 7 June 2021 12:07 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah I treasure my copy too, but (as I said upthread) I wish they'd just done a box that maintained the titles and track listings of the original Arista albums, rather than listing them by opus number as they did.

joni mitchell jarre (anagram), Monday, 7 June 2021 12:17 (two weeks ago) link

Dusty Groove occasionally has some for sale.

Van Halen dot Senate dot flashlight (Boring, Maryland), Monday, 7 June 2021 13:44 (two weeks ago) link

plus they really did a fantastic job with the remastering and the booklet and everything else.

Definitely. But then, I can't think of a single instance where Mosaic hasn't done a fantastic job. I don't think I've even seen a single post on the Steve Hoffman forums complaining about a Mosaic remastering, liner notes, booklet, anything.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 7 June 2021 14:22 (two weeks ago) link

Never had one, but I remember reading the Blue Note forums (I think?) back in the day, and people would obsess over these. Lots of anticipation & completism, lots of middle-aged dudes being audiophile sticklers.

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 7 June 2021 15:10 (two weeks ago) link

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