Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Mosaic Records to Launch New Imprint--Label to be Spearheaded by Jazz Industry Veteran Matt Pierson

Mosaic Records, widely recognized as the most respected name in the jazz catalog business, is pleased to announce the launch of Mosaic Contemporary, a new imprint dedicated to reissuing and compiling timeless recordings from the annuls of Contemporary Jazz.

Mosaic Contemporary is being spearheaded by producer Matt Pierson, formerly EVP/GM-Jazz for Warner Bros. Records, and will launch March 20, 2007 with the release of two exciting reissues: Freddie Hubbard's Super Blue and Hubert Laws' classic CTI recording, Afro-Classic. Mosaic will then release new comprehensive compilations titled Ultimate Jaco Pastorius and Ultimate Earl Klugh on April 2, 2007.

In addition, Mosaic will be making its first foray into the traditional retail marketplace through a recently inked distribution agreement with Caroline Distribution.

A defining attribute of Mosaic Records has been the high quality of the product, presented with a no-holds-barred approach, serving the avid jazz fan and collector. The Mosaic Contemporary line will focus on compilations and more commercially viable material, with the Mosaic attention to detail and commitment to excellence intact.

Although nearly every artist featured on Mosaic Contemporary releases will be well known to even the casual Contemporary Jazz listener, all decisions will be made based on an artist's contribution to the music and the specific recording's place in the pantheon of American music, thus providing the sophisticated jazz and adult music fan with a well-informed overview of a particular artist's catalog. And, unlike other labels in the catalog business, most of Mosaic Contemporary's artists are still performing and vital, affording the label a unique proactive marketing approach to complement artists' tours with retail positioning and other marketing efforts. In addition, these releases include the core repertoire of Smooth Jazz radio, one of the most successful formats in the industry.

“Our goal is to fill a significant void that exists in the jazz business. Due to the major labels either pulling back drastically in this area or leaving the business altogether, there is an opening for us to set the record straight, musically speaking,” said Matt Pierson, Mosaic Contemporary Label Director, “Although we are well aware that there has been significant contraction in the marketplace, the major labels are no longer able to effectively serve what remains of the jazz and adult fan base. And no company is better suited to attack this initiative than Mosaic.”

Added Michael Cuscuna, Mosaic Records President, “In working regularly with Rhino, Legacy, Blue Note, and Verve as independent producers and licensees, we at Mosaic found a lack of interest in reissuing a significant amount of important adult music, either by reissuing titles or creating fresh compilations. Since Mosaic is an independent company with independent distribution, we are in a position to give great jazz and adult music the treatment it deserves.”

“I have always been a big fan of the work that Mosaic does,” said Caroline Distribution CEO William Hein, “and the opportunity to bring Mosaic Contemporary to Caroline was one that we could not pass up. We are truly committed to serving the adult music marketplace, and this is a step towards doing just that with product of the absolute highest quality.”

Nearly every important artist in Contemporary Jazz has recorded seminal material for more than one label, making most “Best Of” collections on the market incomplete. Working with the special markets divisions of the major labels, in addition to certain independents, the “Ultimate” collections will chronologically present, in the most artistic and accessible form possible, the absolute highlights of an artist's career, a definitive BEST OF THE BEST.

Mosaic Contemporary will also introduce definitive versions of many of the most important recordings in contemporary jazz and adult music. Each title will be a timeless recording with a proven sales record. Most of these recordings have not been made available in new versions since they first appeared on the CD format up to twenty years ago, and have certainly never been given the Mosaic treatment. Additional content will augment the original releases whenever possible; the creation of new state-of-the-art masters and new liner notes will provide a fresh historical perspective on the music.

Mosaic Contemporary's initial slate, set for release March 20, 2007, includes the following titles: Freddie Hubbard's Super Blue - Mosaic Contemporary is releasing this classic 1978 recording on CD for the first time. Featuring an all-star band of masterful players who participated in Hubbard's incredible CTI recordings (Joe Henderson, Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, and special guest George Benson), this nearly forgotten classic includes three previously unreleased alternate takes.

Hubert Laws' Afro Classic - The jazz world's most legendary flutist's breakthrough 1970 recording for CTI Records gets the full Mosaic Contemporary treatment. Afro Classic features Bob James, Ron Carter, and Airto Moriera with arrangements by Don Sebesky, and highlights Laws' flawless interpretations of melodies by Bach, Mozart and James Taylor.

Mosaic will then release the following titles on April 2, 2007: Ultimate Jaco Pastorius - Renowned as the most important electric bassist in the history of jazz, Jaco Pastorius was a revolutionary figure, a true original who drastically changed the position and function of the bass in modern music. Ultimate Jaco Pastorius traces the highlights of Jaco's career, beginning with Charlie Parker's “Donna Lee” from his groundbreaking debut recording, through his tenure with Weather Report (”Barbary Coast,” “Teen Town”), his association with Joni Mitchell (”The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines”), his classic solo recording Word Of Mouth (”3 Views Of A Secret”, “Liberty City”), and, finally, his live tour-de-force recordings (”Domingo”, “Soul Intro/The Chicken” and “Invitation”. Ultimate Jaco Pastorius features Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter, Joni Mitchell, Toots Thielemans, Michael Brecker and others.

Ultimate Earl Klugh - Bringing together the highlights of this master guitarist's three decade 28-CD career, Ultimate Earl Klugh includes “Angelina” from his 1976 self-titled debut as well as collaborations with Bob James (”Movin' On”) and George Benson (”Brazilian Stomp”), and numerous chart-topping contemporary jazz hits. Featured are Dave Grusin, Bob James, George Benson, Eric Gale, Steve Gadd, Patti Austin and Lee Ritenour.

Mosaic Records was launched in 1983 by Charles Lourie and Michael Cuscuna. The company's mission was to make available the vast body of jazz recordings that existed in various record company vaults, but were unavailable to new generations of jazz listeners. In the years since, Mosaic has been able to build the most respected and successful company in the reissue business. As the first company devoted exclusively to reissuing jazz and blues recordings in limited-edition boxed sets, Mosaic's ability to assemble state-of-the-art packages, both musically and visually, is second to none. Mosaic's collections have been critically-acclaimed by the press including The New York Times, Time Magazine, The Wall St. Journal, People and scores of others, and are the recipient of a multitude of awards and accolades including numerous Grammy Awards. Many of the limited-editions have sold-out, immediately becoming much sought-after collector's items.

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