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Mosaic Begats Mosaic Select

Mosaic Records has been stocking hardcore jazz fans’ shelves with meticulously thorough box sets of up to 12 CDs since 1983. Only now does it occur to them that some of us don’t need every take such and such saxophonist eked out in a Blue Note-, Roost-, or Okeh-rented studio. The label, which still refuses to slap a barcode on their monstrous sets and sell them in actual stores, will launch a new imprint in January, Mosaic Select, dedicated to releasing more diminutive packages of music by forgotten or nearly forgotten jazzers.

Unlike Mosaic’s regular collections (which they will continue to release), Mosaic Select will release sets of two or three CDs, in standard jewel cases. Sometimes these releases will simply be material from out-of-print albums and will include original liner notes. Also, the new releases will be available in stores, albeit somewhat delayed, hitting retail one year after being distributed solely through Internet, phone and mail order.

In keeping with their tradition of bringing us the best sonic fidelity possible, Mosaic will scour label vaults for original master recordings to re-master for Select series releases. When they come upon alternate takes of tunes that are of remarkable artistic quality, the takes will be included in the set, but don’t expect to see 18 versions of “Nature Boy” pop up on a Mosaic Select release. The same, painstakingly prepared session notes found in regular Mosaic sets will also be a part of the new series.

The music included on Mosaic Select releases will be from lesser-known jazz artists of the past who might be in danger of becoming forgotten entirely. The first set, to be released in late January, documents trumpeter Carmell Jones’ leader sessions for Pacific Jazz from ’61 to ’63. A Mosaic Select set chronicling the work of free-jazz trombonist Grachan Moncur III will be released at the same time. Separate sets by trombonist Bennie Green and bassist Paul Chambers will follow in June.

For more information on Mosaic Records, visit

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