Mosaic Records

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Mosaic Records
Mosaic logo.png
Founded 1983 (1983)
Founder Michael Cuscuna
Charlie Lourie
Genre Jazz
Country of origin U.S.
Location Stamford, Connecticut
Official website

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 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. Sometimes the complete catalog of a label would appear: the complete masters of Milt Gabler's Commodore Records were contained in three sets consisting of some 66 LPs. In 2003, the company initiated the Select series of smaller sets, not necessarily "complete" in the usual sense. In 2006, the company began a third line, Mosaic Singles, a series dedicated to reissuing individual albums on CD that have not previously been available in US editions, or at all. In 2009, Mosaic returned to the vinyl format with the HQ Vinyl Series and began issuing three and four LP sets of 2,500-5,000 copies.[2][3]

Mosaic's sets are primarily sold and distributed directly to customers, initially promoted through leading jazz publications, then mail order catalog, and now the internet. The first three years of releases did not sell particularly well. In 1986, Cuscuna reached out to a record-producing acquaintance, Fred Seibert, for help. With partner Alan Goodman their company, Fred/Alan Inc. in New York, devised a catalog and strategy that immediately increased sales almost tenfold and put the company on a solid footing for the first time. Mr. Goodman continues to write the copy for all new release sales.[4]

Over 200 sets have now been issued by the company (though most sets' leases have now expired). Since 1998, Capitol Records has owned 50% of Mosaic,[5] and is part of the Blue Note Label Group.


  1. ^ Kernfeld, Barry (2002). Kernfeld, Barry, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 2 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 829. ISBN 1-56159-284-6. 
  2. ^ Mosaic website
  3. ^ HiFi Zine: Interview with Michael Cuscuna
  4. ^ Mosaic Records, 1986-1992 Blog posting
  5. ^ "Alumni profiles:Jazz preserver - Michael Cuscuna", Pennsylvania Gazette article, Vol.103, No.2 2004.

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