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The Mosaic thread: news and opinions

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by J.A.W., Apr 26, 2017.

  1. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict Thread Starter

    The thread title says "Final sale?" - question mark, indicating that no one knows what's going to happen. The asterisk means it was added by a moderator.
  2. bluesbro

    bluesbro Forum Hall of Shame

    OK, I thought there was a sale going on that could have been the last.
  3. DrJ

    DrJ Senior Member

    Davis, CA, USA
    Yes we can agree to disagree. I think there is a difference between simple elegance and "generic" myself! :)
    action pact and jay.dee like this.
  4. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    Gee, I wonder what Bear Family sets and books you have? Most of the box set books for the last 15 years have been hardcover (with stitched binding), and most of those are 140-200 pages or even longer. The essays are generally by the best known experts on the artist (and are book length complete biographies), and the photo and memorabilia graphics in both black and white and color are exhaustive and unparalleled. The discographies typically cover the artists entire career, not just the box contents. Some sets have two books. The books that come with the Bear Family "Black Europe" box are mind boggling.

    I can understand liking the black and white photo concepts of the Mosaic sets (which were inspired by the Blue Note label's use of photography). Most of the outer box designs of the Bear Family sets were inspired by the graphic art styles contemporary with each artist's career.

    The Bear Family set graphics are hardly amateur. As much as I enjoy the Mosaic designs, their "booklets" are just that - large pamphlets. Many of them in recent years have had disappointingly brief essays (the Bee Hive set booklet comes to mind)

    There are so many used Mosaic sets circulating in the marketplace without the books, which of course typically knocks down the real price the sets will fetch by at least 50% or even more. When you think that this means some of these booklets are worth over $100 and compare that to the pamphlets real value as a book, its a little shocking
    Marzz, jay.dee and DrJ like this.
  5. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    If I recall what Charlie told me, they knew the Commodore Box #3 would not sell well, so they just did not manufacture many. I think the license ran a longer time. They even tried selling box #3 by offering a large discount to owners of #1 and #2
  6. DrJ

    DrJ Senior Member

    Davis, CA, USA
    Admittedly the Bear Fanily boxes I have are older ones - Cash and Prima and Lewis and Domino - no hardcover books on any of these. Again don't get me wrong the sound and music are great but I don't find these any better than Mosaics and feel the cover art - colors etc - aren't very elegant.

    I am not enough of a completist about many of the artists Bear Family features to be interested in many of their sets.
  7. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    Yes those sets came out long before Bear Family went over the top and produced the best music box set books that anyone will ever see. It is too bad that Mosaic did not upgrade their books long ago. I'm sure that many of us have favorite Mosaic sets for which we would love to see 200 page hardcover books
  8. snowwhat

    snowwhat Forum Resident

    Mosaic gurus - between the classic Dial and classic Savoy boxes, which one would you recommend? I tune into jazz around 1954 or so and have very little experience with jazz prior to that. I have no Charlie Parker recordings, for example (don't hit me! :doh:).

    Thanks in advance!
  9. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict Thread Starter

    The Dial set has all the Dial Charlie Parkers, including umpteen alternate takes, while the Savoy set has no Parker at all. Both sets have their share of alternate takes, which is not always an easy listen; I didn't count them, but I think the Dial set has more alternates. Apart from that both sets are essential if you want to hear some great bebop.
  10. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict Thread Starter

    That would undoubtedly have driven up the prices of the sets, and some people are already complaining about their current prices... - see also @DrJ's comment on that upthread: Limited-edition Mosaic sets running low/last chance ( Mosaic in bad shape - final sale?)
    Mr. H, DrJ and jdw like this.
  11. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    We collectors always complain, don't we? But I bet if the Duke Ellington boxes came with a beautiful fat hard bound book in the Mosaic graphic style, just as many people would have bought them. Perhaps even more may have bought them, rather than download some flacs from a torrent site or trade CDRs with a friend.
    Marzz likes this.
  12. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    Plus the Mosaic Dial has better sound than the other editions of Parker on Dial. I don't yet have the Savoy set
  13. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict Thread Starter

    There have been complaints about the sound on the Dial set, both on the Mosaic site and on the Organissimo board; some people said it has been processed too much. I haven't heard it (yet), so I can't comment. I got the Savoy set earlier this week and it sounds fine to me - maybe my ageing ears are playing tricks on me, but I don't hear anything wrong with it.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
  14. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    It never matters what the product is, there are always complaints. But I did extensive synchronized A/B's with many different editions of the Dials, both on CD and LP, including Spotlight original LPs and Spotlight Japan CDs. I do have a pile of Dial 78s, but did not do an A/B with those, as I expect the 78s to sound the best. I did believe the Mosaic Dials to be overall the best of the reissues. Far better than the Spotlights.
  15. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict Thread Starter

    I have most - if not all - of the Dials on Spotlite CDs and the sound varies quite a bit. Owner Tony Williams once told me (many years ago) that's how his sources sound. The Spotlite Parker 2CD-set sounds OK to me - I must admit I never listen to the complete Parker set on Spotlite.

    Allen Lowe said on Organissimo that the sound on the Mosaic Dial was more or less killed by some kind of noise reduction/filtering, or words to that effect. He was very critical of Jonathan Horwich's work (Horwich was involved in the sound restoration of both the Dial and Savoy). As I said I haven't heard the Dial set, but the Savoy sounds OK to me.

    P.S. Forgot to add that Lowe admitted that he had only listened to the audio samples of the Dial set on the Mosaic site - for what it's worth...
  16. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    Backorder on Mosaic means their license has not expired and they are considering repressing it. If Mosaic folds. of course that will not happen. If you have a great desire for it, buy it in the used after market. A mint copy was available earlier for $60, but sold today.
  17. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    And that is not worth much. It is too bad that he bad-mouthed the product and hurt sales based upon web samples, which he could not have done any proper synched A/B comparison with other reissue sources - let alone on any half decent player/amplifier. But many do that kind of thing. I always think that sound comparisons are best done with the listener's own ears.
    sjaca likes this.
  18. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict Thread Starter

    They do, and that's why I take Lowe's assessment with a bag of salt.
    signothetimes53 likes this.
  19. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    I wonder where the guy who sells Mosaic booklets only for fairly high prices is getting them. I doubt the license restricts the number of books that may be printed.

    After the death of a good friend, his daughter held an estate sale. One buyer wanted his Nat Cole Mosaic box, but she said it was not for sale. At the end of the day, it was missing. But the thief did not know that the Mosaic book (that was substantial) was on top of the turntable. So, somewhere out there is a guy who really desperately wants the book.
  20. Riverside Dave

    Riverside Dave Forum Resident

    Ocean City, NJ USA
    Thanks for your response. I appreciate the input and the suggestion.
  21. GodBlessTinyTim

    GodBlessTinyTim Forum Resident

    Ontario, Canada
    The only Mosaic sets I'd be very interested in are Amos Milburn and T-Bone Walker. Hope they don't go under, though.
  22. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    If by "go under" you mean out-of-print (OOP), they have both been gone for a long time. Look in the used after market.

    My general observation is that the used prices for OOP Mosaic, with some patience, have declined quite a bit. Whereas at one time, demand was so high that used prices were frequently $40 or even much more per CD, I have seen many complete sets in the range of $10-16 per CD. I have been lucky enough to find them at $6-8 per CD here and there. But we all know the struggle between patience and desire.

    There are so many Mosaic sets out there without the box or book, it amazes me. People wanted to put the CDs on their nice 6 inch shelves, then tossed the rest in the weekly trash.
  23. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident

    If you like them, you'd probably like the Charles Brown too. Mosaic once struggled with whether or not they should reissue more blues-oriented material. It is too bad they did not do that back when they were thriving.
  24. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict Thread Starter

    Yep, at one time, years ago, they were thinking about a comprehensive Leroy Carr box, but that never materialized unfortunately. Sony released a Carr 2CD-set, but that is marred by mastering artefacts like noise reduction etc. The only really good sounding Carr CDs are the 2 Magpie discs from the UK.

    I'd not want to be without the T-Bone Walker, Amos Milburn and Charles Brown Mosaics.
  25. signothetimes53

    signothetimes53 Forum Resident

    Oh my, this is painful to read. I love Leroy Carr, and to think a Mosaic box was considered...and dropped...ouch.
    jlrchrds likes this.

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