Review by Dee Dee McNeil - Archived here
She’s a singer/songwriter and pianist. This talented woman has recorded a unique and lovely album of her original compositions. She has written every song, with the exception of the very popular “Mas Que Nada” that she plays and sings with silky smooth vocals. This is an easy-listening project, perfect for Smooth Jazz radio airplay. Favorite cuts are: #4, “Across the Sky” that reflects shades of Marvin Gaye and Sadé, wrapped richly in her production and in the arrangement grooves. Cut #5, “One Way” sounds like you should be listening to it while on a highway, driving at maximum speed, and covered by blue skies, sunshine dreams and chasing a ‘Fly Away Butterfly’.
Carol Albert keyboards/bass programming/lead vocals/piano/producer/arranger; Trammell Starks, drum programming/keyboard/producer/horn arrangements; Rafael Pereira, percussion; Sam Skelton, saxophone/flute; Alfreda Gerald, Tony Hightower, Cheryl Rogers, background vocals; Susan Bennett and Ivette Ballara, spoken word Spanish; Sam Sims, Chocolat Costa & Joe Reda, bass; Chris Blackwell, guitar; Melvin Miller & Darren English, trumpets; Scott Meeder & Wayne Viar, drums.
Carol's latest release was reviewed in Spain. Below is the review and the translation. View the archived Review here
Carol Albert es una apasionada del piano y del canto. Originaria de la localidad de Hiram, en el norteamericano estado de Georgia, siendo una niña recibe clases de piano de su abuela, a la que le faltaba un brazo. Ambas se sentaban frente al piano, y mientras su abuela tocaba con la mano izquierda, Carol lo hacía con la derecha. Además de enseñarle a tocar el piano, su abuela también le enseñó a componer canciones. Como era de esperar, Carol pronto se interesa por el piano como instrumento de referencia. Comienza a tocar piano clásico en la Georgia State University donde obtiene una licenciatura en música. En el año 1.991 recibe una nominación al prestigioso premio Emmy. Tres años más tarde, en 1.994, presenta el álbum titulado “Tides Of Change” en el que se incluyen temas como “High Seas”, “To The Sun” o “Beyond Tomorrow”. Más adelante vendrán producciones discográficas tan sobresalientes como “Morning Music”, “Night Music” o “Christmas Mystique”, álbum de temática navideña. Las presentaciones en vivo de Carol Albert son habituales tanto en Europa(Suiza, Alemania, Francia, España, Inglaterra o Irlanda) como en los Estados Unidos (San Francisco, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia o Kentucky). El pasado mes de Agosto, Carol Albert presentaba su nueva producción musical bajo el titulo genérico de “Fly Away Butterfly”, disco del que se han extraído dos singles: “One Way”, versión original del vocalista desaparecido Al Jarreau y que se incluye en el álbum publicado en 1.988 y titulado “Heart´s Horizon”; y “Mas Que Nada”, tema clásico brasileño versionado por infinidad de artistas y músicos. El disco arranca con el tema que da titulo al álbum, composición que cuenta con el protagonismo de la flauta y el saxo de Sam Skelton. Entre los temas instrumentales destacan “Awakening”, “Chasing Waterfalls” y “Transition”. La vocalista y pianista no olvida incorporar temas vocales que acompaña con el sonido de su piano. Buena prueba de ello es la balada ligera titulada“Across The Sky” o el tema ligero “Never Thought It Would Be This Way”. El tema más movido y rítmico del disco es el instrumental “On My Way”, que aparte de los instrumentos, incorpora voces y coros. A lo largo de todo el álbum, Carol Albert canta y toca piano y teclados. A este nuevo proyecto discográfico de la vocalista y pianista se incorporan músicos de la talla deSam Skelton, Trammell Starks, Rafael Pereira, Sam Sims, Chris Blackwell, Melvin Miller, Scott Meeder, Joe Reda, Wayne Viar, Darren English, Englesson Silva y Chocolat Costa. La brillante presencia vocal corre de cuenta de cantantes y vocalistas como Alfreda Gerald, Susan Bennett, Ivette Ballara, Tony Hightower o Chocolat Costa. La totalidad del álbum es producido por la cantante y Trammell Starks. “One Way”, tema con el que se rinde tributo a Al Jarreau, es producido por Trammell Starks. Todos los temas son compuestos y arreglados por Carol Alberty Trammell Starks a excepción de “Mas Que Nada” y “One Way”. Interesantísimo nuevo proyecto musical de Carol Albert. Es obligado escucharlo.
Carol Albert is passionate about piano and singing. Originally from the town of Hiram, in the North American state of Georgia, as a child she receives piano lessons from her grandmother, who was missing an arm. Both sat in front of the piano, and while her grandmother played with her left hand, Carol did it with her right. In addition to teaching him to play the piano, his grandmother also taught him how to compose songs. Unsurprisingly, Carol soon became interested in the piano as a reference instrument. He started playing classical piano at Georgia State University where he earned a bachelor's degree in music. In the year 1.991 receives a nomination to the prestigious Emmy prize. Three years later, in 1994, it presents the album titled "Tides Of Change" which includes songs like "High Seas", "To The Sun" or "Beyond Tomorrow". Later will come such outstanding productions such as "Morning Music", "Night Music" or "Christmas Mystique", album of themática Christmas. Carol Albert's live performances are common in Europe (Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, England or Ireland) and the United States (San Francisco, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia or Kentucky). Last August, Carol Albert presented his new musical production under the generic title of "Fly Away Butterfly", disc of which have been extracted two singles: "One Way", original version of the missing singer Al Jarreau and that is included in the album published in 1988 and titled "Heart's Horizon"; and "Mas Que Nada", a Brazilian classic theme, with a lot of artists and musicians. The album kicks off with the theme that gives title to the album, composition that counts on the protagonism of the flute and the sax of Sam Skelton. Among the instrumental themes include "Awakening", "Chasing Waterfalls" and "Transition". The vocalist and pianist does not forget to incorporate vocal themes that accompanies with the sound of her piano. Good proof of this is the light ballad titled "Across The Sky" or the light theme "Never Thought It Would Be This Way." The most moved and rhythmic theme of the album is the instrumental "On My Way", which aside from the instruments, incorporates voices and choirs. Throughout the album, Carol Albert sings and plays piano and keyboards. Sam Skelton, Trammell Starks, Raphael Pereira, Sam Sims, Chris Blackwell, Melvin Miller, Scott Meeder, Joe Reda, Wayne Viar, Darren English, Englesson Silva and Chocolat are all part of this new vocalist and pianist project. Coast. The brilliant vocal presence runs from singers and vocalists like Alfreda Gerald, Susan Bennett, Ivette Ballara, Tony Hightower or Chocolat Costa. The entire album is produced by the singer and Trammell Starks. "One Way", subject that pays tribute to Al Jarreau, is produced by Trammell Starks. All songs are composed and arranged by Carol Alberty Trammell Starks with the exception of "Mas Que Nada" and "One Way". Interesting new musical project by Carol Albert. He is obliged to listen.
Carol Albert enchanting jazz singer Carol Albert – FLY AWAY BUTTERFLY:
Carol is one of the most enchanting singers I’ve heard in a long time, and there’s a decided plus, in that she plays piano with some of the highest creative energy on the scene today. I recently did a video critique of her work, and you’ll see how professional her standards are there. On the album, high-spirit tunes like “On My Way” convey the kind of joy the world needs more & more of today… a SUPERB song, full of life!
The promo sheets explain that after Carol lost her husband (2014), she turned back to composing, so the music is automatically in the healing zone… don’t take that the wrong way, though… this isn’t “down, sad” music – not at ALL! You’ll hear how her spirit has been replenished as you listen to the wonderful “Transition“, where she clearly paints sonic cascades abundant with the joy of entry into new worlds… a MOST impressive song that gets constant play on my iPhone… I just LOVE this piece.
Though “Across the Sky” starts out with a decidedly jazz solo (think Coltrane), Carol’s vocal easily transports you into a zone where memories become reality – in a good way… some fine, FINE guitar work compliments the saxophone right at about the 2:10 mark, as well. A truly inspiring piece of music that everyone will enjoy!
One of the longer pieces (5:24), “Never Thought It Would Be This Way“, will surface memories both sad and full of the joy of living… it was an easy pick for my personal favorite of the ten offered up. I give Carol a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99 for this “must-have” CD! Get more information about this fascinating player/singer on Carol’s website.
Review by: Rotcod Zzaj c/o of ContemporaryFusionReviews.com
CAROL ALBERT / Fly Away Butterfly: In the 70s, the gals were doing a subgenre known as divorcee rock. That seems to have mutated in the 10s to healing music, a combination of jazz, world and spirituality that seems to be the soundtrack for recovery of various sorts whether from addiction, loss, upheaval---or divorce. Albert is rejuvenating from loss and letting it lead her to rebirth. Enlisting one of the great secret weapons of our times, Trammell Starks to help her on her journey, this is almost like next gen-nu new age as it comes out of the gate. An experienced performer coming back into the light, this is no mere well intentioned effort by a bored wannabe looking for an outlet, this is the kind of alt.adult listening that turns heads and ears. A deep, personal set that grabs your attention and holds on tight. Well done. - CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2017 Midwest Record
Link to source - click here
Ahh, we are again treated to the wholesome, all-embracing musical charm of the lovely vocalist/pianist/composer Carol Albert who has reemerged with her at once enticing and alluring offerings here on Fly Away Butterfly, an album of intensely satisfying melodies and lyrical colors.
The mesmerizing seduction of this music starts at track one (the title track) and never lets up as she takes you by the hand and leads you along this plush horizon of musical bliss with delicate caresses and high-spirited exoticism and finger-poppin’ grooves like that heard on her covers of the late Al Jarreau’s “One Way” and the classic “Mas Que Nada.”
Aside from “Mas Que Nada” and “One Way,” Albert has penned all of this well-produced material, and it’s obvious that she poured her very essence into the work. One should be warned of the inescapability of the appeal and mystique of this material. This is beauty alive and personified throughout.
Along with the lead and title track, there’s the exotic sway of such catchy tunes as “Awakening” and “Across the Sky,” the funky bounciness of “On My Way,” the beauty and intriguing play on moods found on “Chasing Waterfalls” which leads off in a rather sweet and sedate fashion and later ushers in a spirited crescendo, and the resoundingly comely track “Never Thought It Would Be This Way.”
To sum it up, this album truly defines delicate, refined, and class, and tosses in a track of feel-good funk for good measure. It’s quality belonging in the bright spotlight of this genre. Experience its attraction, and bathe in it with unabashed abandon. It calls for it. – Ronald Jackson c/o The Smooth Jazz Ride
Link to source - click here
Special Thanks to Trammell Starks for encouraging me to write and record again, the many hours of patience in the recording studio, supporting me in the ups and downs through the process, and making me believe it was possible to be successful.
Thanks to all my supporting players on the Album for the extra hours and dedication to making great music.
Thanks to Jason Gorov/Gorov Music Marketing for the caring and successful Radio Promotions achieving Billboard Charting and Worldwide Radio Markets.
Thanks to Allen Kepler/Smooth Jazz Network, Jo Khool/WJKR-DB JO KHOOL RADIO, Graham Johnson Australia Alive 90.5, Lynette White SIRIUS XM Watercolors for believing in me from the beginning. Special thanks to Allen Kepler for feedback of my works in progress and Jo Khool for encouraging me to sing.
A Big Thank You to Kabir Sehgal for such beautiful liner notes.
And Life-Long Thanks to my friends who have listened, encouraged, and supported me through the years and my fans and supporters of my music.
Note From Carol:
"Music was one of my 1st loves from early childhood and has been with me through thick and thin in my life. I can confide all my feelings through it and it will keep my secrets if I want it to. It will tell you what I'm feeling if you wish to listen. It fills my soul and lifts my spirits in good and bad times. I've spent more time with my music than anything else in my lifetime. It only lets me down when I expect too much. I love my family, children and friends but most of all the greatest love of my life is MUSIC." - Carol Albert
We are excited to bring you the New Album:
"Fly Away Butterfly" from Carol Albert.
* Order Now from the Official Carol Albert Store
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Lead Vocals, B/G Vocals, Piano, Keyboards/Synths: Carol Albert
Additional Keys/Synths: Trammell Starks 2, 5
Background Vocals: Alfreda Gerald: 1,3,5,6,8,10 - Cheryl Rogers/Tony Hightower 3,5
Voice Over Spanish: Susan Bennett and Ivette Ballara
Flute, Saxophone: Sam Skelton
Trumpet: Darren English 2,6 - Melvin Miller 3
Guitar: Chris Blackwell 3,4,5,7,8 - Englesson Silva: (Acoustic Guitar #6)
Bass: Sam Sims 3,8 - Joe Reda 4,7 - Chocolat Costa 6 - Trammell Starks: Key Bass 2,5
Percussion: Rafael Pereira
Drums: Scott Meeder 2,3,8 - Rafael Pereira 4,6 - Wayne Viar 7
Produced: Carol Albert and Trammell Starks (Except “One Way” Produced by Trammell Starks),
All Songs Written: Carol Albert (Except: Mas Que Nada, One Way)
Arrangements: Carol Albert
Additional Arrangements: Trammell Starks (Awakening, On My Way, One Way)
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered: Trammell Starks
Published: CAHARA (ASCAP) 2017
Liner Notes from New York Times bestselling author and Multi-Grammy Award winning producer - Kabir Sehgal
Fly Away Butterfly (Liner Notes)
Every so often, an artist comes along that makes you reimagine the possibilities of music. With Fly Away Butterfly, Carol Albert delivers a seminal and sizzling contribution to the artistic sphere, blending lively melodies with thoughtful and refined arrangements. Every song presents not just different sounds but soundscapes in which Carol invites us to inhabit and explore.
But this album is also one of healing, as Carol lost her husband in 2014, and she turned back to composing music after some years off from her Recording Career. After her “Christmas Mystique” production, she started on this work, tackling the personal issues she has faced – and this time, head on. Throughout the opus, we hear, quite beautifully, about Carol’s stages of recovery and healing. And by so doing, she has given us something for each one of us to hold onto.
The title track “Fly Away Butterfly” evokes an ambient groove enlivened by joyful, even mirthful flutes, the soundtrack to a butterfly flying away, from this place to that. Indeed, the track is symbolic, as Carol’s voice is intimate and distant, the delicate balance of love and loss that we all must face during life. “Awakening” flows and builds with an ostinato groove, lilting flutes, and well-placed piano touches. The song is wrought with anticipation and playful exchanges that resolve to the tonic chord, a brilliant display of compositional prowess and acumen. In fact, an encounter with a Blue Morph butterfly in Costa Rica prompted her to write the tune. Perhaps unwittingly, Carol’s has given us a track for our times, to be “awakened” to the tension-and-release, call-and-response of life. That after the very worst times comes recovery and healing. And Carol’s album, listened from start to finish, can be part of a veritable music healing, enriching your soul with creative and artistic ferment.
“On My Way” is even more explicit, an anthem for our times. It’s a song of new beginnings. Her lyrics “On My Way/To a better day/I’ll spread my wings and fly away…” connote not just escapism but realism. In truth, sometimes you need an army of one to get the job done. You have to take things into your own hands. At least with Carol’s horn-drenched tune, you’ll have a musical accompaniment as you face towards the future. “Across the Sky” begins with a Coltrane-like incandescent solo with dreamy, even distant vocals. With her vocal performance,Carol has her audience hanging on every note with anticipation. “One Way” is a song about love and combines some of her favorite elements such as acoustic piano, nylon string guitar, and a hint of Latin percussion. The original version of “One Way” appears on Al Jarreau’s 1988 hit album Heart’s Horizon. “I have always loved the song and thought creating and performing a new arrangement of it would be the perfect celebration of his artistry and life”.
In “Mas Que Nada,” the Latin rhythms pulse with fervor and give a stylistic panache to this track, as if you were listening at a dark-lit club with fire-red dancing. What’s more, Carol’s voice displays a richness and versatility of the highest order, with beautiful incantations and vocalizations. As an admirer of Latin music, Carol had me taken with this song. In a word, stunning.
“Waterfalls are all about that instant change in forward momentum, and can be powerful metaphors,” said Carol when describing the track “Chasing Waterfalls.” Her rolling piano propels the momentum of the song back-and-forth, ultimately advancing it without compunction so that we’re immersed, maybe even drenched in a sonic landscape of groove in the province of jam! “Never Thought It Would Be This Way” is a personal introspection into life when things turn out differently than expected. And ain’t that the truth. The lyrics however aren’t bitter but bittersweet, informed by a life of love and loss. “Transition” brings us back into the ambient world with watercolor harmonies and kaleidoscopic timbres cascading throughout the number. It’s about moving into new realms. And with the last track “Fly Away Reprise,” Carol sends the message that there must be a final letting go. In this album, we hear it all, and we are better for it. Carol Albert has given us a musical testimonial borne out of the crucible of loss. We hear both resilience and grace in her music. By giving so much of herself in this music, we not only hear her, but she creates a space for us to join her on the road ahead.
FROM THE ALBUM FLY AWAY BUTTERFLY (ALBUM RELEASE DATE: 7/1/2017)
One Way - (Song Download)
Download the hit single, "One Way". Note: Upon payment, you'll receive a link to download the song.
Carol Albert - vocals, piano
Chris Blackwell - guitar
Sam Skelton - saxophone
Trammell Starks - produced, programming, additional keys, bass
Alfreda Gerald - BGV
Written and arranged by Carol Albert
Engineered, Mixed and Mastered by Trammell Starks