My second installment of a disk I have enjoyed over the years. I’m trying to keep the Record of the Month posts to be fairly new releases. Classics are going to be ones that are at least 5 years old.
So colour me surprised. Rosie Vela’s one and only album, Zazu was a great surprise back in 1986. I had actually never heard or seen of Vela as a model. While I’m gay, I wasn’t that kind of fag.
The disk was headed by Steely Dan producer, Gary Katz. Not only that, but the two main members of Steely Dan appear on most, if not every song – their first time in over a decade of being together. This was not a plus for me, as I was never a Steely Dan fan. But it still works. She makes it her own.
Katz uses some great musicians – for those who might know who they are: Rick Derringer, Joy Askew, Jim Keltner, Tony Levin and of course Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. But it really is Vela who ties it together with her writing and her voice.
It’s a short disk – only nine songs. I really like “Taxi”, “Magic Smile” and especially “2nd Emotion”, but they all work.
For a long time, I didn’t know what happened to her. She dropped of the face of the music earth. No second disk, not nothing. But last year, I was flipping through the tv and hit some PBS show that was featuring ELO and poof, there she was, doing background vocals. Who knew? And for the life of me – why? It seemed like a demotion to me.
It’s hard to sample her record if you were even interested in it. Clearly it wasn’t a hit by any standards and it’s been 20 odd years, so it is out of print and it’s not in iTunes – but I guess that’s why they have EBay.
But for a little taste, the only thing I could find was a crappy YouTube video of one of her songs, “Magic Smile”. Not the best, but it’s all I could do for you guys.