Michael Cuscuna (born September 20, 1949 in Stamford, Connecticut) is an American jazz record producer and writer. He is the co-founder of Mosaic Records and a leading discographer of Blue Note Records.
Cuscuna played drums, saxophone and flute while young, but placed his emphasis on starting his own record label. He had a jazz show on WXPN and worked for ESP-Disk late in the 1960s, in addition to writing for Jazz & Pop Magazine and Down Beat . He moved from WXPN to WMMR in 1970, then onto WABC-FM (now WPLJ) as a progressive rock DJ at both stations. He took a position as a producer with Atlantic Records in the 1970s, recording Dave Brubeck and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Not forgetting his popular music interests, in the early 1970s he also produced albums by Bonnie Raitt ( Give It Up ) and Chris Smither. He also worked at Motown, ABC (doing reissues of Impulse! albums), Arista, Muse, Freedom, Elektra and Novus. From 1975 to 1981, he went through the Blue Note archives and recovered many sessions which are now prized.
Along with Charlie Lourie,he founded Mosaic Records in 1983 specializing in jazz reissue box sets, still continuing as of 2018. Artists surveyed include highly visible masters like Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, and Nat "King" Cole, and lesser known artists such as Tina Brooks and Ike Quebec. Cuscuna has won three Grammy Awards for his releases. Since 1984, Cuscuna has been a special consultant, producer, and reissue director of Blue Note Records.
The 34th Annual Grammy Awards were held on February 25, 1992, recognizing accomplishments by musicians from the previous year (1991). Natalie Cole won the most awards (three), including Album of the Year. Paul Simon opened the show.
Mosaic Records is an American jazz record company and label established in 1982 by Michael Cuscuna and Charlie Lourie. It produces limited-edition box sets that are available only by mail.
Francis Wolff was a record company executive, photographer and record producer. Wolff's skills, as an executive and a photographer, were important contributions to the success of the Blue Note record label.
A Night at Birdland Vol. 1 is a 1954 release by jazz artist Art Blakey, and a quintet which featured Clifford Brown, Lou Donaldson, Horace Silver and Curly Russell. It was first released by Blue Note Records as a 10" LP and then as a 12" LP containing material from the second 10" album. It was reissued for the first time on CD in 1987 with two additional tracks, previously released on a 2 LP Compilation in 1975 called Live Messengers (BN-LA473-J2). The CD was reissued again in 2001 as an "RVG Edition" remastered by Rudy Van Gelder with the tracks in a different order. The 1987 CD used the second 12" LP cover, the 2001 CD revived the original 10" LP cover.
Phil Schaap is an American jazz disc jockey, historian, archivist, and producer. He has hosted jazz shows on the Columbia University WKCR since 1970; he currently hosts two, Bird Flight and Traditions In Swing, both since 1981. He has won several Grammy Awards.
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! Live at "The Club" is a 1967 album by jazz musician Julian "Cannonball" Adderley. It received the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Jazz Performance – Group or Soloist with Group in 1967, and was added to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2021.
Penthouse Serenade is an instrumental jazz quartet album by Nat King Cole. It was released initially as a 10-inch LP in September, 1952, on Capitol Records. An expanded version was reissued in 1955 and a 19 track version was reissued in 1998.
A Night at Birdland Vol. 2 is a 1954 release by jazz drummer Art Blakey, and a quintet which featured Clifford Brown, Lou Donaldson, Horace Silver and Curley Russell. It was first released by Blue Note Records as a 10" LP. Two years later, the three 10" LPs in the set were reissued as 2 12" LPs; the 12" Vol. 2 is BLP 1521. Two of the three tracks of the original 10" Vol. 2 were included in the 12" Vol. 1. The 12" Vol. 2 incorporates all three tracks from the 10" A Night at Birdland Vol. 3 plus a previously unreleased alternate take of "Quicksilver."
Search for the New Land is an album by jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan. A set with a group of regular Blue Note sidemen, Search for the New Land was recorded before The Sidewinder was released. Although it was recorded in 1964, the album was shelved for two years, then issued with the original catalogue number 84169.
My Funny Valentine: Miles Davis in Concert is a 1965 live album by Miles Davis. It was recorded at a concert at the Philharmonic Hall of Lincoln Center, New York City, NY, on February 12, 1964.
Cool Struttin' is an album by jazz pianist Sonny Clark, released by Blue Note Records at some point between August and October 1958. Described as an "enduring hard-bop classic" by The New York Times, the album features alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, trumpeter Art Farmer and two members of the Miles Davis Quintet, drummer Philly Joe Jones and bassist Paul Chambers. According to The Stereo Times, the album enjoys "a nearly cult status among hardcore jazz followers", a reputation AllMusic asserts it deserves "for its soul appeal alone".
Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia 1933–1944 is a 10-CD box set compiling the complete known studio master recordings, plus alternate takes, of Billie Holiday during the time period indicated, released in 2001 on Columbia/Legacy, CXK 85470. Designed like an album of 78s, the medium in which these recordings initially appeared, the 10.5" × 12" box includes 230 tracks, a 116-page booklet with extensive photos, a song list, discography, essays by Michael Brooks, Gary Giddins, and Farah Jasmine Griffin, and an insert of appreciations for Holiday from a diversity of figures including Tony Bennett, Elvis Costello, Marianne Faithfull, B.B. King, Abbey Lincoln, Jill Scott, and Lucinda Williams. At the 44th Grammy Awards on February 27, 2002, the box set won the Grammy Award for Best Historical Album of the previous year.
Michael Brooks was a British-born music historian, archivist, consultant, and producer.
'Four' & More: Recorded Live in Concert is a live album by Miles Davis, recorded at the Philharmonic Hall of Lincoln Center, New York City, NY on February 12, 1964, but not released until 1966. Two albums were assembled from the concert recording: the up-tempo pieces were issued on this album, while My Funny Valentine consists of the slow and medium-tempo numbers.
Bud Plays Bird is a studio album by jazz pianist Bud Powell, recorded late 1957/early 1958 for Roulette, but unreleased until 1997, when it was rediscovered by Michael Cuscuna and released by Blue Note as part of The Blue Note Collection.
Miles in Tokyo is a live album recorded on July 14, 1964, by the Miles Davis Quintet at the Tokyo Kōsei Nenkin Kaikan, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. It was released in the United States on CD in 2005 and is the first recording of Davis in Japan. It is the only album to showcase an early incarnation of his Second Great Quintet featuring Sam Rivers on tenor saxophone, following George Coleman's departure; after this, Wayne Shorter's appointment completed the classic lineup which recorded such albums as ESP and Miles Smiles, through to Miles in the Sky.
Back to the Tracks is a hard bop album by tenor saxophonist Tina Brooks recorded in 1960 and released posthumously. The album was originally intended as BLP 4052, but, for some reason, it was shelved at the time. A song recorded during the session, "David the King", was rejected since it "never made it to releasable quality". The composition was later re-recorded for Brooks' final Blue Note session, eventually released as The Waiting Game. The tracks first appeared in a Mosaic 12" LP box-set (MR4-106) entitled The Complete Blue Note Recordings of The Tina Brooks Quintets. A Blue Note CD appeared in 1998, then reissued in 2006.
Minor Move is an album by American hard bop tenor Tina Brooks. It features performances by Brooks, Lee Morgan, Sonny Clark, Doug Watkins and Art Blakey. It was recorded on March 16, 1958, and was Brooks' first album as a leader for the Blue Note label. The album, however, was shelved for many years until being issued in Japan in 1980, as Blue Note GXF 3072. In 2000, Minor Move was released on CD. The piece "Nutville" is sometimes credited to Lee Morgan, but in truth, as producer Michael Cuscuna explains in the liner notes to the 2000 release: "Lee brought the tune to the session, but never claimed credit for it. Curtis Fuller also confirms that it was indeed a Tina Brooks original."
Cool Blues is a live album by American jazz organist Jimmy Smith featuring performances recorded at Small's Paradise in New York City in 1958 but not released on the Blue Note label until 1980. The album was rereleased on CD with three bonus tracks recorded at the same performance.
This is the discography of Mosaic Records the American jazz record company and label established in 1982 by Michael Cuscuna and Charlie Lourie. It produces limited-edition box sets that are available only by mail. Over three decades the jazz press and general publications have recognized Mosaic, with the New York Times naming it “the most distinctive reissue label in jazz,” All About Jazz calling the company “arguably the premiere reissue label in jazz,” and Esquire suggesting it is “America's most obsessive jazz label.”