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September 11, 2016

Rosie Vela – Zazu (1986) – Lp

by Record Facts

Roseanne “Rosie” Vela (born December 18, 1952), Best known for her work as a fashion model, Rosie Vela dabbled in music in the 1980s and showed much promise as a singer/songwriter, but she didn’t get very far commercially.













Artist:  Rosie Vela
Title:  Zazu
Year:  1986
Format:  LP
Label:  A&M Records
Catalog# 395016-1

Turning her attention to music, Vela built a home recording studio for herself and signed a recording contract with A&M Records. She released her debut album, Zazu, in 1986. The entire album was written or co-written by Vela, and was produced by Gary Katz. It is also notable for the fact that it included contributions from both Donald Fagen and Walter Becker (two of Vela’s musical heroes).

When fashion model Rosie Vela branched out into singing and songwriting with her debut album Zazu, skeptics suspected that she was just another pretty face who was trying to get by on her looks. But truth be told, Zazu is a solid pop/rock effort that could be described as an interesting combination of Joni Mitchell and Steely Dan. Vela doesn’t have a great voice — her voice is small and thin, but like jazz great Chet Baker, she demonstrates that you don’t have to have a fantastic vocal range to be expressive and deliver a meaningful album. Favoring a relaxed, cool-toned style of singing, Vela also demonstrates that she’s a talented songwriter — in fact, she wrote most of the songs herself. Mitchell and Steely Dan are obviously major influences, and the strong Steely Dan influence isn’t surprising when you consider that Zazu was produced by Gary Katz (who is best known for his work with that group) and that former Dan members Donald Fagen (keyboards) and Walter Becker (guitar) play on many of the songs. Vela showed a lot of promise on this album, which wasn’t the big seller it should have been.


Side one
1.  Fool’s Paradise  (4:00)
2.  Magic Smile  (4:24)
3.  Interlude  (3:55)
4.  Tonto  (5:38)

Side two
1.  Sunday  (4:31)
2.  Taxi  (3:25)
3.  2nd Emotion  (4:46)
4.  Boxs  (3:52)
5.  Zazu  (4:46)

Read more from Rosie Vela

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