In Summer 2010 the Brazilian entrepreneur Joao Florentino, MusiConsult Network and the UK label Mr. Bongo Ltd agreed on a Joint Venture operation to re-release and market recordings of the historical Pernambucan Rozenblit catalogue. In partnership with labels owner Polydisc, MusiConsult Network and Mr Bongo Worldwide Ltd. is embarking on a major reissuing program. Working with the Rozenblit archives and many collectors and a few DJ’s and producers in Brazil , Mr Bongo is restoring and remastering the old tapes.
The project will be presented in a conference panel during the Brazilian trade show “Porto Musical” (organized by Womex)
The panel briefly presents the projects, and outlines the various aspects and efforts involved (more detaisl can be found under a separate link under “News 2011”)
Below a brief resume about the Rozenblit label
The Rozenblit Story – A brief Resumé
Fabricas de Discos Rozenblit was a vinyl pressing plant, with a afilated label, recording studio, and artwork & printing facility founded by José Rozenblit
It was the first pressing plant for Vinyl ever in Pernambuco. Jose and his brothers invested significant time and money to promote the north eastern music like Samba-enredo, Ciranda, Maracatu, Carimbo and especially the Frevo
Between the mid fifties and the late sixties Rozenblit released more of the traditional repertoire of the North East of Brasil than any other label.
At his time their operation was one of the most modern Vinyl plant in Brazil. Their studio could record a full symphonic orchestra. Their Artwork department was also considered as one of the best in Brazil
José Rozenblit was born in 1927 in Boa Vista (Recife). His origins were jewish, his ancestors were immigrants from Romenia
One single trip to the United States was enough to introduce him to the music business. During that trip he met Mr. Siegel who was heading the Label Mercury (relatively small by that time). Siegel recommended him to invest in the music business in Brasil
José used the store of his father to expose the records he brought from the US. He first sold records for ca 2000 USD. Then he started to import them on a regular basis. Two years later he was the official representative of the Mercury Catalogue in Brasil
Shortly after José mounted his own record store, he named it Lojas de Bom Gosto (Stores of the good taste). It was a very modern record store by that time. The clients had 6 cabins for listening to the albums, before he decided if he wants to buy the record or not.
Funny enough, as a special attraction, there was a cabin in which the client could record his own jingle with his voice. The store also offered electric household products like fridges (electrodomesticos) and modern furniture. However, the store was famous because of the Records, sometime plastic artists exposed their pieces (sculptures) in the store
A small anecdote tells that on the presidential election campaign in 1950 Getúlio Vargas recorded his Radio Speeches at a recording cabin mounted by the Lojas de Bom Gosto in his Hotel in Recife, and from there it was send to 160 stations by 78 rpm Record. So funny enough, the first release of Fabricas de Rozenblit were the speeches of Getulio Vargas
Then José had the idea in going into the business of recording and releasing regional artists. At this time, the local Frevo was recorded by RCA Victor in Recife The first music recording José released was a Frevo Cancao Boneca, from e José Menezes e Aldemar Paiva, recorded in a studio of Radio Clube Pernambucana. No one would release this record but José liked it. He licensed the recording, pressed it in Rio, and released it through his store. The turnover was good enough to mount his own label
In 1954 Jose and his brothers formed the company Fabricas de Discos Rozenblit..
From that year on Rozenblit took over all the significant recordings and releases of the repertoire of the North East of Brasil. They released national and international repertoire, but their specialty was always the regional music, such as Frevo. Their release their Frevo records always 3 months prior to the Carnival season and then used the Carnival to boost the sales. A lot of the sales were also accomplished because Rozenblit used to do massive mail outs of the records to the press and radio stations, who then promoted the records by review and airplay
Basically, Frevo become popular in the rest of Brasil due to Rozenblit
Later on, Rozenblit opened record stores in Sao Paulo, Rio and Porto Allegre
Rozenblit between 1959 and 1966 had a market share of up to 22% of the entire Brazilian market, and 50% on the traditional North East Repertoire
Rozenblit suffered several times from the constant yearly floods of the Rio Capibaribe. The first big inundation was in 1966. Their facilities were completely inundated, machines, stock and master tapes suffered from the floods.
In the seventies there were several inundations, one specifically severe destroying also important documentation, fotos, artwork/ filmes and masters. The graphic department, which was one of most modern by that time, also had heavy damages through the floods
Also In the seventies the Majors started to enter into the Brazilian market with a lot of resources, making the activities of independent labels like Rozenblit more and more difficult. Even though Rozenblit recorded until 1983, but finally closed their operation in 1984
In 1995 the business man Joao Florentino, active by that time in the local music industry
(nowadays owner of a TV & Media corporation based in Recife ) purchased the Rozenblit catalogue.
Since then the repertoire is owned and controlled by his label Polydisc
Resumé drafted by Frank Hessing, MusiConsult Network, December 2007
Some parts of this brief resumé were origined/ inspired by the following sources:
1) José Teles (Book “Mangue Beat”,
2) Aa publication of José Teles in Journal de Comercio April 2007
3) Internet Blog “Regougo”
The Rozenblit Project –
A modern approach to reissuing a historical brazilian catalogue
Porto Musical 2011, February 24th, 12:00 local
Panel description (short form)
In Summer 2010 the Brazilian entrepreneur Joao Florentino, MusiConsult Network and the UK label Mr. Bongo Ltd agreed on a Joint Venture operation to re-release and market recordings of the historical Pernambucan Rozenblit catalogue. The panel briefly presents the projects, and outlines the various aspects and efforts involved.
Panel description (long form with brief project description)
Founded by the Rozenblit brothers in 1954, the Rozenblit catalogue is part of the rich musical history of Brazil. It went onto become the largest independent label outside the majors ( around 20% of the market) , with its own vinyl pressing plant and based not where the other record labels were in Sao Paulo or Rio but in the north eastern city of Recife, Pernambuco. This geographical and financial independence has given it a unique voice in the Brazilian music scene.
In partnership with labels owners Polydisc and MusiConsult Network, Mr Bongo Worldwide Ltd. is embarking on a major reissuing program. Working with the Rozenblit archives and many collectors and a few DJ’s and producers in Brazil , Mr Bongo is restoring and remastering the old tapes.
Using “Theme compilations” Mr Bongo will give international exposure to the main musical styles that Rozenblit recorded over the years.
The first release will be a definitive compilation of the “Psychadelic Pernambuco” music scene. Influenced by the Psych music coming out of the UK & USA , and being inspired by trips to Morocco and India , Artists like Zé Ramalho, Lula Cortes & Alceu Valenca were at the vanguard of a crazy hedonistic scene. Bands like Ave Sangria & The Gentlemen, merged the psych sounds with the traditional pernambucan percussion, Indian sitars & Moroccan lutes..
The second release will be a compilation featuring the “Beat Sound” groups inspired by the Rolling Stones , Doors and Beatles such as “Os Baboas, Os Megatons , Bobby Carlo, The Snakes …. “
The third release is a compilation “Jazz Bossa Sounds” sound with artists like Johnny Alf, Dom Salvador
After each compilation is released and press has been generated, the key original albums and singles will be released on a vinyl format as close as possible in design to their original release on high quality vinyl and card sleeves from restored master tapes for collectors market.
For the hip hop /dance market some of the key tracks from each era will be remixed.
For instance Lula Cortes “Paebiru” is to be remixed by Illum Sphere & Ras G