After the recent reissue of their first eponymous album, Favorite Recordings proudly presents Vegas, the second LP from Venezuelan band Esperanto. Rare and sought-after for many collectors, it was recorded in between Las Vegas and Caracas and originally released in 1981. Following bandleader Jorge Aguilar in his musical trip to the infamous American city bathing into flashing lights and vivid colors, we’re invited to an excursion in Disco, Boogie and Jazz-Funk territories. Finally reissued, fully remastered, Vegas will be available as Gatefold Tip-On Vinyl LP.
With great care and attention to details, Esperanto managed to create a very convincing sequel to their Jazz- Funk debuts. Vegas keeps indeed a perfect balance between various influences. Through energic disco beats with intense funky solos, catchy AOR-influenced songs, where Jorge delivers convincing vocal performance, or sunny jazz-funk slow jams, the album still reveals something quite authentic. And this feeling echoes surely the one that could have been felt by Jorge Aguilar while discovering USA on a trip – where it all started for the music he loves. Like sometimes a foreigner’s enriching view on some local specialty, he surely brought with the band all his authenticity and young but vibrant experience while convincing at the same time major labels for distribution.
With certain notoriety coming with the release of their first album, Jorge Aguilar and his drummer Pablo Matarazzo planned to go to Los Angeles for a few gigs. But once there, they realized their contact had to leave for Tina Turner’s tour in Europe. Before that, he invited them to come along to Las Vegas and eventually meet musicians there. Luckily, the plan worked perfectly: Jorge came back to Los Angeles with a lot of contacts then moved to Boston and NYC before finally coming back to Caracas. He told: “I was so impressed with this trip that I told myself that one day I would return to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The first tracks I did them in Los Angeles with Kenny More, James Gadson and other session musicians from that city. Later, I took the tracks to Caracas where the musicians of the band recorded overdubs. After that, I returned to Los Angeles to master with Bernie Grundman who was still working in his small studio at A & M records studios in Hollywood. As can be seen in the title of some of the songs like “Hollywood”, “Vegas”, “Kenny’s Place”, were only the translation of my experiences at the time.”