Nov 20, 2020
Here is Part Two of my recent conversation with the legendary Michael Cuscuna. While Part One concentrated on the recent offerings of the Photography of Francis Wolff, Part Two is all about Cuscuna's limited edition archival releases on Mosaic Records.
2020 has been a good year for the label. Of particular interest to me was the release of The Complete 1975 Toronto Recordings by saxophonist Paul Desmond. Portions of these live recordings have leaked out before, but we've never had a chance to hear all of the music Desmond made with his quartet of guitarist Ed Bickert, bassist Don Thompson and drummer Jerry Fuller at the Bourbon Street Jazz Club in Toronto in March 1975. The results are lyrical saxophone heaven.
Earlier in the year Cuscuna reached into big band history for the Complete Woody Herman Decca, Mars, MGM Sessions (1943-54). He also helped curate The Savory Collection (1935-1940) which features newly found or rare recordings from the John Kirby Sextet and live radio broadcasts including Count Basie, Chick Webb and Coleman Hawkins. All are limited editions on CD.
Musical selections for Podcast 776 include an alternate take of "Well You Needn't" from Mosaic's collection of The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Thelonious Monk; "Line for Lyons" from Paul Desmond and The Complete 1975 Toronto Recordings; and a Charlie Parker on "Yardbird Suite" from one of Cuscuna's real coups, The Complete Dean Benedetti Recordings of Charlie Parker.