Picks and Pans Review: Zazu
If she hasn't done anything else, Sade has made the pop music world safe for young women singers who can think and swing as well as rock. Vela is a Ford Agency model from Galveston who seems to have the smarts and the pipes to fill at least part of the vocal void in the jazz-rock-fusion world. This is her first album (she's in her mid-20s), and she shows she can sound alternately cool and urgent. The LP was produced by Gary Katz, longtime collaborator of Steely Dan. The Dan mainstays, keyboardist Donald Fagen and guitarist Walter Becker, lend considerable backup support to Vela. She wrote almost all the music herself, and it's only annoyingly arch once in a while. Most of the time Vela makes the connection with her words as well as she does with her melodies. The insinuating, sinuous way she sings them doesn't hurt either. (A&M)
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