But today, I have a little time and I have some great announcements to make regarding the epic Mosaic Records Pops box I've been working on for so long. On April 30, 2013--International Jazz Day--I ended a presentation for the Armstrong House by announcing the Mosaic set, which I wrote about in detail one month later. And I just found out that next week on April 30, 2014--you guessed it, International Jazz Day again--Mosaic will officially roll out their website and start taking pre-orders for what should be a June 1 release. All I can is, "Hooray!"
The last month has been all about taking care of the little things. I received the galleys for my liner notes in March and found FIFTY mistakes/changes to edit. Those were all made and booklets are being printed up as I write this. I called co-producer Scott Wenzel about something recently and he told me that the discs were being manufactured at Sony that week. And now I've been sent the link to the website and it looks great. There's a few things to tweak on it, otherwise I'd share it today but no, I think I should let the Mosaic powers-that-be launch it on Wednesday.
But here's a few beautiful images to share. On April 16, George Avakian's 95th birthday was finally celebrated by David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Eternity Band at Birdland. I really wanted to attend but my duties in Toms River forced me to stay home. The plan was that if I attended, I'd give George my galleys so at least he'd have something to enjoy until the set was made. We couldn't make that happen but earlier this week, I gave David my galleys and the next day, he delivered them to George, taking these pictures to commemorate the occasion.
That's the title page of the liner notes, with the headline, "Louis Armstrong, The All Stars and George Avakian." That's really what the whole set is about and as I detailed in March, the music George produced for Armstrong in the 1950s is what completely changed myself when I was a teenager in the 90s. To be able to spend these last few years putting together this "love letter" to George and Louis, well, it's the least I could do for what they both did for me.
And it's tough not to get emotional looking at this shot, the 95-year-old legend admiring a rare photo of himself and Pops taken in 1954:
So that's all for now. I'll sit quietly over here and when the website goes live and Mosaic makes the announcement on Wednesday, I'll be sure to post all the relevant details here. And if you're in NY, the Louis Armstrong House Museum is teaming up with David Ostwald's aforementioned Louis Armstrong Eternity Band at Birdland at 5:30 p.m. on International Jazz Day. We'll have some fun Armstrong House-related giveaways and I'm sure David will further announce the Mosaic set. If you're in the City, say hello!
Won't be long now.....