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Bad news from Mosaic


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I just got this message from Mosaic:

September 9, 2009

We've all become accustomed to bad news for the past five years, both in the United States and globally and in the arts as well as the world economy. But what we just discovered is a first in bad news for Mosaic Records.

Each of our sets is manufactured by the label that owns and licenses to us the masters contained in the set. One of our major licensors changed pressing plants for the tens of thousands of titles it manufactures. Unfortunately a number of Mosaic titles (mostly Selects) were deleted and all of the components and masters were destroyed in process.

Mosaic Records cannot afford to remaster and remanufacture components for the remaining run of these titles and due to contractual issues there is no relief from the responsible parties. We have no choice but to prematurely retire these titles. For some, we still have some inventory. But for others, we are forced to tell you without warning that we are out of stock and these titles will never be available again.

As champions of the completist concept, we know how important collecting a complete set of releases is and heartfully apologize for this set of circumstances.

Limited Inventory Available

The Complete Blue Note Lou Donaldson Sessions (#215)

"Hear Donaldson in such an orgiastic feast as this, and he becomes something of a monster player - gorgeous sound, capable of playing in all manners of contexts and always dripping with such blues-based earthiness..." - Jeff Simon, Buffalo News

6 CDs - $96

The Complete Roulette Dinah Washington Recordings (#227)

"No matter what she sang, Dinah operated by a simple philosophy: 'When you get inside of a tune, the soul in you should just come out. You should just be able to step back and let that soul come right out.'" - Nadine Cohodas, liner notes

5 CDs - $85

Mosaic Select: Bennie Green (MS-003)

"His execution is clearly defined, non-exhibitionistic and liberally impregnated with the devices and characteristic phrasing of the be-bop style, yet he always manages to retain something of the real jam session atmosphere." - Raymond Horricks

3 CDs - $44

Mosaic Select: John Patton (MS-006)

"This set came into being as a result of a desire to celebrate and make available the first three John Patton albums that Blue Note released: Along Came John, The Way I Feel and Oh Baby! These were a pretty heady triumvirate with which to launch a solo career." - Michael Cuscuna, liner notes

3 CDs - $44

Mosaic Select: Curtis Amy (MS-007)

Texas tenorman Curtis Amy had a long and distinguished career as a jazz artist, studio musician and record executive. During his years with Pacific Jazz, he recorded six superb albums that revealed an artist who constantly challenged himself as an improviser and as a composer.

3 CDs - $44

Mosaic Select: Duke Pearson (MS-008)

Duke Pearson's watermark runs through Blue Note's output in the '60s. As a recording artist, he led lyrical trios, soulful sextets and a roaring big band. But his final Blue Note sessions showed his palate expanding to embrace Brazilian rhythms and melodies and impressionistic harmonies.

3 CDs - $44

Mosaic Select: Bud Shank/Bob Cooper (MS-010)

"...the cool tag can be pretty safely applied to Bud Shank and Bob Cooper. Both were West-Coasters who served apprenticeships with Stan Kenton and both employed lightly swinging rhythm sections and all kinds of arranging devices." - Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes

3 CDs - $44

Mosaic Select: Pacific Jazz Piano Trios (MS-019)

"The six tracks that represent virtually the entire legacy of Richard Twardzik as leader are of special interest, but the set succeeds on the strength of the contributions of Freeman and Fischer." - Duck Baker, Coda

3 CDs - $44

The following titles are no longer available:

Mosaic Select: Bob Brookmeyer (MS-009)

Mosaic Select: Don Pullen (MS-013)

Mosaic Select: Dexter Gordon (MS-014)

Mosaic Select: Art Pepper (MS-015)

Mosaic Select: Johnny Richards (MS-017)

Mosaic Select: Freddie Slack (MS-018)

Edited by J.A.W.
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Just checked worldsrecords.com. They still have some of these discontinued sets listed. They used to sell them for the same price as the Mosaic website, but now the price for Selects has been hiked to $60. Supply and demand, I guess. J.A.W., I didn't notice the Pullen there, unfortunately.

Edited by John Tapscott
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I'm wondering if I should grab that Pacific Jazz piano trios set.

That one is one of the best Selects in my view. Wonderful music by (in alphabetical order :)) Clare Fischer, Russ Freeman, Jimmy Rowles and Richard Twardzik.

Edited by J.A.W.
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Amazingly enough, the Dexter Gordon is still listed as available under Last Chance. They must have only a handful left.

That's for pointing that out. I just ordered one. We'll see what happens.

I did too. But I then called Mosaic and was told that it is, indeed, sold out.

Incidentally, the Gordon Select, like virtually all of the others, is still available from other sources (Amazon Marketplace, Ebay, etc.), and often for less than the shipped price from Mosaic.

But who knows how much longer they'll continue to be available, given this news.

Edited by Ron S
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Astounding incompetence but I don't think it has to indicate a massive list of BN deletions, which would probably be in the works regardless of some boneheaded decision to destroy things not meant to be destroyed.

I think the bigger issue here is the effect on Mosaic's bottom line. They have lost a group of sets that were a source of revenue, and they have lost out on a surge in revenue when these sets reached Last Chance. Obviously there are lots of other sets not effected by this, but it still has to hurt.

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