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Mosaic Records Returns to the Vinyl Biz

Mosaic vinylJazz lovers with a yen for vinyl, take note: Mosaic Records is getting back into the LP business. The limited-edition, jazz-specialty company stopped releasing vinyl versions of their sets years ago, but they’ve taken note of vinyl’s resurgence and decided to return to this particular corner of the marketplace, albeit on a somewhat different scale. In an e-mail sent out today, Mosaic chief Michael Cuscuna highlights the label’s new online vinyl site ( complete with blog) and cites the 2005 LP release of the Thelonious Monk-John Coltrane Carnegie Hall concert as a signal moment for Mosaic’s renewed direction:

In the three intervening years, vinyl has become a media story with large chains selling reasonably-priced turntables to 20-somethings and major labels judiciously releasing old and new titles. And of course, the audiophile labels are still plugging away with “I-told-you-so” Cheshire cat smiles on their faces.

Cuscuna also writes:

While preparing the Ahmad Jamal CD box set due next spring, it occurred to us that an 8-CD set doesn’t have to give birth to a back-busting box of twelve 180-gram LPs; it can also give birth to a double-album reissue of both LPs of Ahmad Jamal at The Pershing, the groundbreaking albums that generated such influential hits as “Poinciana.”

Freed from thinking that Mosaic LPs have to mirror out large CD sets, we’ve engaged in a treasure hunt coming up with new title ideas like reissuing those two magnificent Lucky Thompson-Oscar Pettiford albums on ABC-Paramount or Duke Ellington’s 1963 masterpiece “Afro Bossa.” How about the complete Thelonious Monk “Live At The It Club” on LP for the first time, beautifully remixed from the original three-track masters? We’ve only just begun.

Good news for those who dig their jazz at 33 1/3 (or at 45, for that matter).

In other Mosaic news, the long-awaited Benny Goodman box is now posted for pre-order, along with the set’s discographical information. Mosaic says it will be out near the end of the month, “just in time for Turkey Day.”

David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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  • http://jazz88s.blogspot.com/ Marc Davis

    Coincidentally, I got an unusual email offer yesterday from Blue Note. It offers 12 “classic Blue Note bestsellers,” each in a package containing one LP and one CD. As the email explains: “CD for the car or computer, and a warm analog LP for the home sound system!” Each package sells for $20.98 at the Blue Note Direct Store.

    Here’s a link:
    http://store.bluenote.com/prod.aspx?pfid=5278&sid=AB7ABBD9ED0D402E8DB562EE2A944006

    Is there really a market for this? I understand some people still prefer LPs, and I don’t dispute that. I like LPs and I still have many, but I don’t like them enough to buy a CD for the car and an LP for home. Not even to get the “stunning, legendary album covers, which are works of art themselves,” as the promo says.

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