Rainbow Records: BPM for export

After spending 12 years in Japan, percussionist Marco Bosco returns to Brazil and starts a label to record Brazilian music with an eye on the foreign market

Carlos Calado
Tributes to the tropicalist maestro Rogério Duprat and to coco master Jackson do Pandeiro, American musicians playing BPM along with Brazilian instrumentalists. These are some of the projects held by Rainbow Records, a São Paulo-based label that has just been created by musicians and long-term friends Marco Bosco, Ruriá Duprat, Sérvulo Augusto and Eduardo Santos. "We want to make perennial music, that is still going to be good 10 or 20 years from now. We're not interested in fashion music", says Bosco, percussionist and producer from São Paulo, who returned to the country last April after living in Japan for over a decade.

"I believe that Brazilian music can feed the international pop scene with a new stream of creativity. If you look back into the recent past, you'll notice. Even Simply Red is using Brazilian beats. It seems obvious to me that Brazilian music is indicating the ways, now", states Bosco, showing optimism toward the current interest in Brazilian music outside of Brazil. In 1990, dissatisfyed with the local musical market, after having worked with big BPM names, the percussionist decided to look for a producer in Japan that would pay for the costs of his third album (Hánéreá - Power of Nature). There was a reason for the attempt: in 1980, Bosco had already recorded in Tokyo with Ruriá Duprat. "The first guy I talked to agreed to pay for my album. My intention was to spend about 6 months there. I spent almost 12", he tells.

Back in Brazil, as a member of Nina Simone's band, Bosco decided to stay and make an old dream come true: start a label only for Brazilian Popular Music. "Currently, the market does not reveal the reality of Brazilian music. I reckon the guys at recording companies don't have a clue what's going on out there", he claims. In spite of his interest in the local audiences, Bosco doesn't hide that his greatest goal is the international market. "Above all, we're musicians, so we keep a certain romantic approach. Still, I am sure that most of our projects have better chances abroad".

Among these projects, the most international, so far, is the album that American trumpeter Randy Brecker is finishing in São Paulo. Scheduled for April 2000, Randy Brecker Plays Brazilian Music brings the jazz musician reviewing songs by Gilberto Gil (Oriente, Rebento), Djavan (Malasia, Me Leve), Ivan Lins (Ai Ai Ai Ai) and João Bosco (Olhos Puxados), besides his own compositions, arranged by Rogério Duprat. Brecker's back up band lines up top Brazilian musicians: Ricardo Silveira (guitar), Teco Cardoso (sax and flute), Paulo Calazans (keyboards), Sizão Machado (bass guitar) and Robertinho Silva (drums), besides Bosco (percussion). "A guy like Randy, who's totally funk and jazz, simply loved recording a João Bosco samba with tambourine and repinique (a tiny drum, banged on with plastic sticks)", says the percussionist and producer, revealing that he intends to unfold this project. "We want it to become a series.We shall continue bringing foreign musicians to record BPM here, with local ones", he explains.

Another Rainbow Records project (this one with a greater potential for the internal market) is a tribute to Rogério Duprat, the maestro who highlighted the tropicalist movement with innovative arrangements and ideas by the late 60s. With a live recording session scheduled for April 2001, the album will also feature guest appearances by Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Tom Zé, Gal Costa, Rita Lee, Jorge Ben Jor and Orquestra Jazz Sinfônica.

He also intends to put out three solo albums. Techno Roots, now being produced, gathers an eclectic cast, from pianist Egberto Gismonti to forró master Genival Lacerda, as well as BPM big shots like Leila Pinheiro, Dominguinhos and Alceu Valença. The repertoire is comprised of Jackson do Pandeiro's songs, which will undergo an electronic treatment. "It is a homage, a more pop review of Jackson's music, drifting away from the original concepts", says the percussionist, who's going to print copies of his two previous discs: There Will Be No Money Today (recorded in Tokyo), and Tokyo Diary (recorded in Japan, USA and Brazil), the latter with guest appearances by Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, César Camargo Mariano, Oscar Castro-Neves and Don Grusin.

Among the first batch of the label's releases, scheduled for 2001, there will be an album by the band Super Bela and others by songwriter Sérvulo Augusto (Coletivo), by bass player Sizão Machado, by drummer Vera Figueiredo (with Dennis Chambers and Mike Stern) and by music therapist Régis Duprat (As Modinhas do Brasil).