Mosaic Records

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Mosaic Records is an American specialist jazz record label, founded in 1983 by Michael Cuscuna and Charlie Lourie (current partner Fred Pustay, joined in 1994) to issue coherent limited edition box sets (initially on LP) of jazz recordings by individual musicians that had often fallen out-of-print. Producers of Mosaic CDs and LPs are Cuscuna and Scott Wenzel.[1] Mosaic headquarters are located at 425 Fairfield Avenue, Suite 421, Stamford, Ct. 06902.[2] [3]

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.[3][4]

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.[5]

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,[6] and is part of the Blue Note Label Group.


  1. ^ wenzel
  2. ^ The Complete Blue Note 1964-1966 Jackie McLean Sessions booklet
  3. ^ a b Mosaic website
  4. ^ HiFi Zine: Interview with Michael Cuscuna
  5. ^ Mosaic Records, 1986-1992 Blog posting
  6. ^ "Alumni profiles:Jazz preserver - Michael Cuscuna", Pennsylvania Gazette article, Vol.103, No.2 2004.

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