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Curtis Amy: Mosaic Select

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For all those who have regarded Mosaic boxed sets as the gold standard among jazz reissue programs, the recently introduced Mosaic Select series requires some spirit of compromise. The seventh release in the series, for example, provides only six short paragraphs of current retrospective on the career of tenor saxophonist Curtis Amy. In a “real” Mosaic collection, we would have gotten a full-size catalog, an extravagance of session photos and a new in-depth essay by a leading Amy authority with voluminous discographical data. In this three-CD set, we get only the undistinguished original liner notes.

But if the Select series is budget-challenged, it is also free to go where big Mosaic boxed sets cannot-for example, to artists whose recorded output is sparse, and/or whose appeal is limited to (in Mosaic founder/producer Michael Cuscuna’s words) “a relatively small but discerning audience.”

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