Circulo (Paulista Records, 2012)
Circulo is the third album by US-based Brazilian singer Carla Hassett. For this new effort, the sensual vocalist went back to her roots. She grew up in Chicago listening to Brazilian music at home and Motown and pop in the radio. This mix of musical influences is what you’ll find in Circulo: samba, MPB, bossa nova, soul, pop and funk.
“I wanted to take my audience back to the music that defined me as an artist,” says Carla. “Growing up in Chicago in a very Brazilian home where we spoke only Portuguese, I fell in love with the samba, bossa nova, and MPB that my parents played, as well as the soul and pop music on the radio; music like Bill Withers, Al Green, Steely Dan and Fleetwood Mac.”
Although Carla had visited Brazil regularly, she moved to Sao Paulo for nearly a year while she was working on the album. “When I was in São Paulo, I was living in an apartment that was in an area near to where I was born, and unbeknownst to me until later, just around the corner from where my parents met while they were in college,” says Carla.
On Circulo you’ll find vocals in Portuguese and English. It was recorded in Los Angeles, produced by and features Léo Costa on drums, percussion and vocals; Antonio de Santanna and Steve Rodby on uprights bass; Alberto Lopez on percussion; Fabiano de Nascimento on guitar; Miguel Galdelman on sax; and other guests. “I want people to experience the joy of music, to see where that passion comes from,” adds Carla. “I didn’t want to rely on anyone else to make that journey happen. This was my full-circle story, although James Gadson did make a special appearance on my cover of Bill Withers’ ‘Another Day to Run.’ Hopefully, Circulo warmly beckons you to listen to the album when you feel sad, so that it might fill your heart with a touch of Brazilian alegria, esperança e amor.”
Circulo brilliantly finds the connecting points between the soulful Afro-rooted musics of Brazil and the United States.