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Mosaic brochure 4.1
Written by Alan Goodman
Production: Jessica Wolf
Produced by Fred/Alan Inc.
In the late 70s I was producing jazz records and became friendly with Michael Cuscuna, soon to become one of the medium’s most revered producers and the leading reissue producer in history.
In the early 80s he and BlueNote Records executive Charlie Lourie started the pioneering Mosaic Records as the first company specializing in boxed set reissues of classic performances, available only by mail order. Michael and I became reacquainted when I ordered their first set (The Complete BlueNote Recordings of Thelonious Monk) and he asked me to get involved with helping them out of the hole. It turned out their ‘sure thing’ idea wasn’t having many takers and they were worried about shutting down.
My partner Alan Goodman and I turned them down two years in a row with a lot of unsolitcited advice about what they could do better –we were broke and our company was barely alive itself– even if we were talking through our hats. Everything we knew about direct mail cataloging was from being mail order customers ourselves and from a direct mail how-to book I’d read the first chapter of. We loved Michael and Charlie, and we admired what they were trying to accomplish at Mosaic, but we were just too low on bandwidth.
Three years in our company was doing a little better and Mosaic was doing a lot worse; Michael and Charlie successfully prevailed on us to finally help. We knew no more, but full of the arrogance of youth we lugged out Alan’s first generation portable computer and invented the first Mosaic 12-page brochure on our summer picnic table. Alan wrote every word (I supervised "strategy" — what else is new?), our friends Tom Corey and Scott Nash designed the thing, Jessica Wolf supervised the production and we mailed out the first Mosaic catalog ever in the summer of 1986.
We waited for the order phones to ring, and lo and behold, in the first three weeks Mosaic’s business had increased 10 fold. They were in business forever. Alan’s still writing the brochures, I’m still getting the free box sets and lobbing in ideas from the side. What a world we live in. I’ve never been prouder of any project I’ve worked on in my life.
Do you like jazz? Order one of the Mosaic sets. They are still the standard by which all others are judged.