"sung with eloquent tonality in an astounding, masterful range.”
~ Roberta on the Arts
"Carla Hassett has it going on; smoldering looks, versatile voice and an original musical sensibility drawn from the best of North and South American popular idioms."
~ Worldbeat Canada
ADRIANA, a little known tune penned in 1961 by Luiz Freire, and the great bossa nova guitarist and composer Roberto Menescal, was originally sung by the incomparable Wanda Sá. Chosen by BURL Audio owner, founder, and bossa nova enthusiast, Rich Williams especially for Carla and her band for its exquisite groove in 5/4 meter, and intimate vocal style. Produced by Rich Williams for Burlacticus Recording Company, Adriana was tracked and mixed at the iconic EastWest Studios in Los Angeles, then mastered and cut to vinyl using BURL Audio AD/DA conversion.
To record Adriana, Carla brought in her band of Brazilian brothers, Léo Costa (Sergio Mendes, Bebel Gilberto, Natalia Lafourcade) on drums and percussion, André de Santanna (Sergio Mendes, Jason Mraz) on bass, Dan Reckard (Bossa Zuzu) on keys, plus Anne Stafford (Sambadá) stepping in with arrangement, flute, and sax; Fabio Santana de Souza on trombone, and of course Carla on guitar and vocals. Adriana is the perfect pairing of musical and technological excellence, resulting in a pure expression of Brazilian bliss.
During the recording session at EastWest, Carla and the band recorded two other tracks composed by Carla, and arranged and recorded in the spirit of Antonio Carlos Jobim. Carla completed the production of the two tracks, "Sempre Odara" and "Three Kings," in her Los Angeles recording studio, Little Chaplin House. The first single, "Sempre Odara," begins with a simple nylon guitar and piano playing a classic bossa nova groove. The groove deepens with Léo Costa and Andre Santanna’s bass and drums, creating a solid foundation for Carla’s vocal to both whisper and soar. The accompanying video, filmed and directed by singer/songwriter Caro Pierotto, celebrates the immense beauty and depth of Brazilin music.
With the third and final single, comes the poetic and elegant “Three Kings.” The unapologetic bossa groove, freshly interpreted in 7/8 meter, is the only track of the three that’s sung in English. Though a secular song, the poetry tips a hat to the mysticism of love and its devout complexities. Hassett says that “while daydreaming one day, this line from Romeo and Juliet popped into my head: 'Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name; or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love and I'll no longer be a Capulet.’ When I thought about my Romeo, well, two actually came to mind from my past, along with the current Romeo at that time. Turns out, my Romeo was actually three kings!” Intending to create a highly poetic lyric, Hassett gave each “king” his own verse, whose rhyme scheme coincides with their names. The chorus is borrowed from Shakespere, and verse four explains the song in the soliloquy style of the Bard, then wraps up the story with an unexpectedly charming end.
On her 2016 CD, +Blue (call it “more blue”) Carla Hassett explores the meaning of “home” and the complexities of growing up between two countries and cultures: her birthplace, Brazil, and her adopted country, the U.S. The cycle of 10 songs, including seven originals, explores tropicalia and samba, with Hassett's own unique stamp on each tune.
On +Blue , Hassett’s search for home through song is bookended by the anthemic “We Belong Here” and “South American Way,” a tune immortalized by the legendary Carmen Miranda. Hassett makes the Jimmy McHugh/Al Dubin-penned classic her own, taking it at a sultry tempo and delivering a slightly sad but totally engaging study of homesickness. +Blue was featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition with Linda Wertheimer.
Before +Blue, Hassett released Circulo, a collection of songs and vignettes that blend American and Brazilian pop, samba, and jazz. Hassett co-produced Circulo with Léo Costa (Sergio Mendes, Bebel Gilberto), and legendary drummer James Gadson appears as a guest producer and vocalist.