February 1, 1999
>Blue Note seems very reluctant to release boxed sets... as opposed to
>other labels, such as Fantasy and Verve (rusty box, anyone?). Witness
>a Joe Henderson box on Fantasy, but none on Blue Note. My hunch is
>we'll wait a long time for a Wayne Shorter box, tho Mosaic is a better
I think it is precisely because of Mosaic that Blue Note boxes have not been plentiful, because Mosaic has issued so so so many great BN boxes, leaving individual issues to BN itself. As for Henderson, he, like Shorter, is another artist that BN has treated pretty well. Every one of his BN discs has been available as a domestic BN CD (there are only five with him as a leader, assuming we're talking about his 'classic' '60s period), and they've all been in print at least within the last 5 years or so. When BN sees a market for a boxed set that has been done by Mosaic but has since gone out of print, such as the Herbie Nichols set and the Green/Clark, sometimes they put it out. For BN, it is probably safer and easier for them to just get the licensing fee from Mosaic and let Mosaic do all the work. This also allows Mosaic to test the market for BN. In fact, Mosaic often itself creates a new or larger market for an artist's output just because they've been given the Mosaic treatment (Nichols, for example) and the attention that comes with it. Or maybe Mosaic simply taps in to an interest that the industry didn't realize was there. Then BN (or whomever) may decide that a set might make sense financially.