Interview by Debbie Burke. Archived here
Highly listenable and chill, Carol Albert’s voice evokes light and air. Perfect that her standout CD is so visually oriented: images of butterfly wings, waterfalls and the sky.
When did you first know you wanted to be a musician?
I have always played the piano since I was around 5 years old. It never was a conscious decision to be a musician; it just evolved. I studied classical music until I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music from Georgia State. I decided not to teach school and started playing pop music.
It’s astounding to learn your grandmother composed in her sleep. You too?
Yes, just last week I was dreaming a song and I wanted to get up and write it down but I was having too much fun listening to it. I thought I’d remember it but I didn’t. Sometimes I can remember them and write them down.
What was your musical foundation like from GSU and how did it prepare you to go into the industry?
I studied classical piano and also orchestration, arranging, harmony, scoring and writing for chorus. All these are skills I have used in my writing, just not in a classical context. It also gave me the courage to perform and work hard. It was a difficult degree to get especially since I had a baby while I was still finishing school. It taught me a lot about being focused and productive with my time, and learning balance.
Are you primarily a pianist or singer?
I grew up singing and playing the organ in church and went to voice schools in the South learning how to shape notes and harmonies. I would not classify myself as a power lead vocalist but I blend my vocals and piano.
What inspired “Fly Away Butterfly”?
The butterfly became a symbol of hope to me after I lost my husband in 2014 to a heart attack during a triathlon. I kept seeing butterflies after he passed. They became a spiritual symbol to me. I went on a trip to Costa Rica and was hiking high up in the mountains and a blue morph butterfly landed on me. It wasn’t until a year later that I started seeing blue butterflies in everything like books, pictures, you name it.
I looked for the meaning behind this and found they’re symbolic of new beginnings, change and awakening, as well as being good luck and a spiritual messenger . I was working on the track that I named “Fly Away Butterfly” and it just felt totally right, especially when I had Sam Skelton add the flute part that became the butterfly flying. I named the album “Fly Away Butterfly” because it made sense; all these pieces fit with this theme of movement and change.
Was “Mas Que Nada” fun to record?
“Mas Que Nada” was a blast!! It was the first track I put out as a single. I wanted to record a joyful, fun tune and the Olympics were taking place [in Brazil] so I decided on this song, especially since I used to sing it while I was touring in Europe.
Talk about your personnel.
They all live in Atlanta and are exceptional. I couldn’t have had a higher quality team to add character to each of my pieces. My Brazilian friends, guitarist Sander Pinheiro, bassist Chocolate Costa, and world-renowned percussionist Rafael Pereira gave an authentic sound for “Mas Que Nada.” My background vocalists helped the party get started with the fun voices of Alfreda Gerald, Cheryl Rogers and Tony Hightower. Darren English, a trumpet player from South Africa, gave a killer performance on “Mas Que Nada” and “Awakening.”
I asked Brazilian voice coach Valeria Washington to help with my enunciation for authenticity. On other tracks, Sam Skelton, on flute and saxophone, rivals any other recording artist out there; Chris Blackwell killed every guitar track he played; Sam Sims played bass for “On My Way” and “Never Thought It Would Be This Way.” Joe Reda played “Across the Sky” and “Chasing Waterfalls,” I played key bass on “Fly Away Butterfly” and Trammell Starks is on bass on “One Way.”
Several drummers added tracks: Scott Meeder, Wayne Viar, Rafael Pereira. Trammell Starks pulled everything together and made sense in the studio like a chef baking a cake.
I co-produced the album with Trammell, working on arrangements, programming and developing the tracks, but he was the captain of the ship. All the ingredients were there for what I believe is a very heartfelt artistic work.
What themes inspire you when you compose?
Many things. I saw a young girl in Germany who was lying on the steps of a church with addiction issues and I wrote one of my favorite songs about her called “Sasha”: “The street is a lonely place for a girl as young as you.” I hope to get someone famous to sing it one day. I write songs about people, my children, nature, abstract ideas and emotions like love, sadness, disappointment and joy, and spiritual themes such as in “Dreamer” which won a Peace Song Award.
Your favorite venue?
The Fox Theatre [Atlanta].
A place you’ve always wanted to perform?
How do you take care of your voice?
Honey and lemon with green tea.
How would you describe your sound?
I have a light voice that emulates South American voices like Astrud Gilberto.
Your 1991 Emmy nomination was for the theme of what show?
I think it was actually a PBS Show “The Well-Placed Weed” by Ryan Gainey. I did several shows for PBS Channel 30 during that time.
What is the most challenging part of touring?
Being away from home and all that’s familiar to you. It’s hard work but I make every day a sightseeing adventure. I make the most of it.
Did you picture a specific location when you wrote “Morning Music”?
I pictured a meadow with dew on the grass and the sun coming up while I was drinking my coffee.
Was it a meaningful experience to play the Augusta golf course since they only began to allow women in 2012?
I played a big hospitality event and I didn’t really think about any of the politics because there were so many people who wanted to have fun and party.
I’m working on new compositions. Some possibly for a new album, one for a good friend that I want her to sing on her own album. I want to write a symphony and I also want to score some of my originals for teaching purposes for piano students to perform.
To keep working until I can’t any more.
I am the happiest when I am in the pure state of writing a new piece, hearing parts and weaving the pieces together, dreaming of ideas to add the next morning, fitting it together like a puzzle. I love that place.
For more information, visit www.carolalbertmusic.com.
Photo courtesy of and with permission of the artist.
(c) Debbie Burke 2017
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: Fly Away Butterfly
Carol Albert does bass programming, lush keyboards and lead singing on this collection of smooth Brazilian moods with dreamy support and framework. Sleek sax and flute from Sam Skelton make for gentle R&B on “Awakening” and “On My Way “ as well as the lithe title track. Albert’s piano trickles on “Never Thought It Would Be This Way” while she wisps through a breezy “Mas Que Nada” and delivers a mist of a vocal on her tribute to Al Jarreau on “One Way.” As smooth as a sandy beach at Ipanema.
Here's a link to the Review: www.jazzweekly.com/2017/08/two-sides-of-braziljorginho-neto-collective-harlem-carol-albert-fly-away-butterfly
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
Check out the wonderful interview from WVSU (Samford University). Listen 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.
Buy this Song and Video in the Official Carol Albert Store
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
While Carol Albert has made her mark in numerous musical worlds throughout her multi-faceted career – from the educational realm to new age to TV theme composing – she is rapidly finding a niche as an insightful, globally conscious groove and melody-centric contemporary jazz pianist and composer. One way an artist new to a genre can establish continuity is to pay homage to a legend who performed in that style and was also an inspiration. Her unique, soulful and funky yet magnificently exotic re-imagining of the late Al Jarreau’s “One Way” not only allows her to pay homage to one of her musical heroes in the wake of his passing. It’s a way to bridge past and present, bringing a nearly 30 year old classic album cut to glorious life for a generation of fresh ears.
“One Way” is also the perfect showcase for her wordless vocal artistry and melodic, groove oriented piano playing, as well as the seamless interaction between her, guitarist Chris Blackwell and sax/flutist Sam Skelton. Somewhere, Jarreau is definitely smiling his approval and singing along. Like her previous single “On My Way,” it’s a heartfelt track that’s perfect for this moment in time – and another exciting introduction to what promises to be her best full length album yet in Fly Away Butterfly.
Get the song at the Official Carol Albert Store
While her eclectic career and compositional magnificence as a recording artist and international performer has inspired fans throughout the world for years, Carol Albert is emerging now as an essential artist of our time because she dares – on her current single “On My Way” – to hope and inspire in an age where it’s easy to become pessimistic. Perhaps the most amazing thing about her uplifting, passionately jazzy and percussive anthem is that she wrote it long before we collectively needed it at this moment. With its sassy horns (arranged by co-producer Trammell Starks), playful melody and exotic rhythms, she’s also able to extend the pop-jazz meets world music vibe of her Brazilian tinged 2016 airplay sensation “Mas Que Nada.” Even if the words she sang weren’t so inspiring and necessary, it’s also great to hear her soaring, sensual vocals, both wordless and not – which are as inviting as her piano and synth melodies and bright improvisational runs. Full of joy, celebration and positive thinking and energy, “On My Way” is the perfect track to clean the slate and start the New Year fresh and looking up. -
JANUARY, 2017 | MUSIC CONNECTION & JAZZIZ MAGAZINE
We had a chance to preview Carol Albert's new single "On My Way" today and we love it! Listen for the debut of Carol's fresh new tune soon on the SJN!
We asked Carole about the new single; “I originally wrote ‘On My Way” for an earlier project as a song of hope and optimism. I wanted to remake the song in a unique way that reflected that same positivity for the times we live in today." - Carol Albert
After lighting up radio in the summer and fall of 2016 – and celebrating the Rio Olympics - with her fresh and exotic contemporary re-imagining of the Brazilian classic “Mas Que Nada,” veteran composer, pianist and keyboardist Carol Albert launches into 2017 with a burst of infectious, high energy optimism on her latest single, “On My Way.” Set for release February 1, the percussive, horn-drenched track features Carol’s vibrant vocals conveying words which make this a much needed anthem for our times: “On My Way/To a better day/I’ll spread my wings and fly away…what lies ahead will set me free/For a Better Day/With love and faith/I’m On My Way.” On the vocal section, she is backed by the powerful background vocal harmonies of Alfreda Gerald, Tony Hightower and Cheryl Rogers.
Co-produced by Carol with keyboardist Trammel Starks, “On My Way” features the explosive ensemble of guitarist Chris Blackwell, bassist Sam Sims and drummer Scott Meeder, The song was arranged by Carol, with Starks creating the dynamic horn arrangements played by saxophonist Sam Skelton (who also has prominent solo spotlights) and trumpeter Melvin Miller.
“I originally wrote ‘On My Way” for an earlier project as a song of hope and optimism,” says the classically trained Carol, who has performed throughout the U.S. and internationally everywhere from Sweden, Germany and France to England, Ireland and Spain. I wanted to remake the song in a unique way that reflected that same positivity for the times we live in today. The original was entirely vocal and I chose this time to only have vocals on the chorus and feature instrumental passages throughout the rest of the track, using my voice as one of the instruments.”
Carol’s multi-faceted career includes the release of five albums dating back to the early 90s, including the popular 2006 new age solo piano releases Morning Music and Night Music; serving as a staff accompanist for the Georgia State University Music Department, Agnes Scott College and the Atlanta Ballet; and providing entertainment for trade shows, corporations, organizations and pubic venues. She has also received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Achievement and Individual Excellence as a Composer for original theme music, and won a first place award in the professional jazz category from the Atlanta Songwriter’s Association. “Dreamer” from Christmas Mystique was chosen as one of the finalists in the New Age Music category of the Global Peace Awards. In addition to performing and composing, Carols is an educator who trains and mentors young promising music students.
Carol win's Best Music Video (Latin) from the prestigious 2016 Akademia Awards.
The new single release by Carol Albert, "Mas Que Nada," has achieved critical acclaim. The recent Global Peace Song Award winner says a jazz musician is like a marathon runner who needs to stay the course in order to win. Here she chats about her own musical path to success, and offers readers tips on how to elevate their own jazz journeys.
All About Jazz: Please tell us how you decided to record your very engaging "Mas Que Nada." Is it a single from an upcoming album?
Carol Albert: I performed "Mas Que Nada" in Europe in the '90s while working on cruise ships, and since it is such an upbeat, happy song, the audience always enjoyed it. Recently, after going through some personal hard times, I happened to hear the song again and suggested it to Trammell Starks, owner of Studiomagic in Atlanta. I even hired a Portuguese vocal coach in order to make sure I was singing the lyrics correctly. The result is a song that makes me feel happy every time I hear it.
Yes, "Mas Que Nada" will be included on my next album, to be released in 2017.
AAJ: How are you promoting your latest music?
CA: Based on recommendations from other jazz musicians, I hired a great radio promoter. We are still in the process of our campaign. "Mas Que Nada" got the most added for two weeks in a row on the Billboard charts.
We placed a couple of ads, with one just coming out now on Smooth Jazz Network. We did as much as we could to promote the single, even with a small budget.
In addition, we are going to promote my Christmas album (Christmas Mystique) more this year.
If you are not with a label, it's a one-stop shop, and you have to wear many hats. In my opinion, you have to get out of the box and do things differently. As an independent artist, what works for me may not work for the next person. You really do have to think on your feet. I do not have a very meticulous plan, and maybe I should.
My goal at this point is to reinvent myself, get exposure, and get my name out there.
AAJ: Some researchers have said that 90% of all digital music sales are lost to online piracy, which, of course, can make it cost prohibitive to even try to make a living in today's music business. How do you avoid the piracy issue? Are there steps you take to try to prevent crooks out there from stealing your music?
CA: That is a question for someone who has more specific information than I do. I do the best I can, but I am in the same boat as everyone else. It is hard to stop piracy of your music. I don't think anyone has the answer for it.
AAJ: Do you gig often, and does performing help you with sales? Is performing the main way you earn a living in music? Do you use the services of a booking agent, or do you book your own gigs?
CA: I do perform frequently; I have a steady gig every Friday and Saturday night, where I sell my CDs and keep my chops up. I test out my new compositions on a live audience. Playing out is necessary, and I get creative on how to find ways to perform. I am always thinking, how can I make money in music? It is not always about recording. You have to be flexible, and think of various ways to succeed.
I am fortunate to be able to say that I make 100% of my income from music.
In the past, I have used booking agents while traveling in Europe. At this point, I am not using one.
AAJ: How important is social media for album sales? Which of the various social media sites help your career the most?
CA: I have been experimenting with Facebook for business by boosting posts. I just started doing it, but I have seen some pretty good results. I am still learning about social media and how it can benefit my music. I prefer Facebook over the other social media sites because it enables me to establish relationships and to build support networks between colleagues and other music makers.
AAJ: Do you agree that jazz artists need to stand out from the crowd with their own style in order to gain mass recognition? If so, then how do you feel you stand out from other musicians in jazz?
CA: Yes, I think that there has to be something special about the artist. The more authentic you can be, using whatever you have as your strength, can help you to succeed.
For instance, I am not a straight ahead jazz player. The thing that sets me apart is that I blend elements of my classical training with different jazzy elements. I am able to use my arranging background to make songs sound special and different.
AAJ: What do you feel are the biggest challenges jazz musicians face right now?
CA: One challenge is to be a professional musician and make 100% of your income from music. Your income might come from teaching, or maybe from performing at corporate party gigs, playing in a mega church, and so on. Some players I know in Atlanta have other day jobs as well, but they keep going with their jazz.
All the while, you have to keep up your chops as a musician. You have to love playing and keep that feeling alive in yourself.
NEW AGE MUSIC: The JURY VOTING winner is: Deva Premal and Miten and their song “Sarveshaam Mantra”. The PUBLIC VOTING winner in the NEW AGE category is: Carol Albert and her song “Dreamer.” -
READ THE FULL PRESS RELEASE - CLICK HERE
The 2016 Global Peace Song Awards, a ProjectPeaceOnEarth.org initiative, announces the winners of a worldwide search for the most spiritually inspired music and songs to guide a way to peace.
PRESS PAGE: GlobalPeaceSongAwards.org
VIDEO RELEASE DATE: Tuesday 16th August 2016
US/WORLD PRESS: Steve Robertson +1.310.871.2965
A Jury Panel of world-famed musicians, legendary Music Industry Executives, a famed TV Producer and an iconic peace Politician all cast their votes to select the most inspiring music and videos that promote the message of peace.
The Global Peace Song Awards (GPSA) is the brainchild of Steve Robertson, Founder/CEO of ProjectPeaceOnEarth.org that is based in Los Angeles, CA. After months and months of planning and on September 21, 2015, Robertson and ProjectPeaceOnEarth.org launched, what is thought to be, the first ever worldwide contest to find the most inspiring musicians, songs and videos that promote the message of world peace.
Famed Jury Panel members for the GPSA consisted of: Stewart Copeland (Grammy Winner, The Police), Randy Copus (New Age group 2002), Jonathan Elias (Elias Arts/The Prayer Cycle albums), David Joyce (Grammy Winner best Jazz Vocal group), Ricky Kej (2014 New Age Grammy winner), Tim Kring (TV producer Touch & Heroes), Dennis Kucinich (former US Representative / US Department of Peace), Philip Lawrence (Grammy winner of Bruno Mars), Rod Linnum (former Exec. VP of Universal Music), Gary Nicholson (Grammy Winner & Texas Hall of Fame Country Singer/Songwriter), Steve Robertson (Founder of ProjectPeaceOnEarth.org), Joanne Shenandoah (Grammy winning Native American Singer/Song Writer), Ralph Simon (Chairman, Mobilium Global Limited) and Peter Yarrow (legendary Folk Singer & Peace Activist of Peter, Paul & Mary).
During the first year of the 2016 GPSA there were ten different categories of music: New Age, World, Acoustic / Contemporary Instrumental, Rock / Pop, Country, Folk, A Cappella / Choral, Classical / Opera, Jazz, Hip Hop and one Music Video category. All Contestants had three ways to win: 1) Jury Panel voting that consisted of famed jury members who voted on songs from the genres of music they were most known for. 2) Public Voting enabled each of the 11 category finalists to invite the public to vote on their songs or videos. 3) …And the last way to win was through social media. In essence to become the musician or video with most overall Facebook likes.
Winners of each music category had the chance and will win a wide variety of valued prizes ranging from a recording session with Grammy Winner Ricky Kej (valued at $15,000) to having award winning singers/musicians perform on their next song, to a music industry webinar on the Music Contracts Do’s and Don’ts by Burgundy Morgan esq., to album cover art work by famed designers Syamarani Dasi and Greg Spalenka, a website by Resonat, an invitation to perform at upcoming Project Peace On Earth worldwide concerts, a commemorative trophy and much more. All prizes of the Global Peace Song Awards were designed to empower the winning musicians to further their creative talents, music careers and the ability to financially succeed in the world of music. GPSA Founder Steve Robertson stated “It was a profound honor to offer the GPSA contest to musicians and video producers around the world and to give them a chance to be heard and seen by major thought-leaders from the world of Music, TV and Politics. Therefore, we are excited to announce all of the following 2016 GPSA winners:
Download the official "Mas Que Nada" Music Video (HD). Listen and watch on your TV or handheld device. Now from the Official Carol Albert Store.
Listen to the latest interview with Carol Albert on Hybrid Jazz
Review: Scott Yanow (author of 11 books including The Great Jazz Guitarists, The Jazz Singers, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76)
Carol Albert is a classically-trained pianist with a sound of her own. Based in Atlanta, she has toured Europe several times, performed throughout the U.S. and recorded five previous CDs.
On Christmas Mystique, Ms. Albert has created an atmospheric set of Xmas-related music. She is the main soloist and adds her voice to a few of the numbers in addition to arranging most of the music and contributing two originals.
Trumpeter Darren English is a key member of the supporting cast on several of the selections including the opening “Mary Did You Know” where he interacts with Carol Albert’s haunting voice. The leader’s “Christmas Without You” is a wistful ballad that features some excellent playing from guitarist Dan Baraszu. The pianist’s other original, “Dreamer,” has some spoken word from Susan Bennett, fine flute contributed by Wouter Kellerman, and an effective quote from “Beautiful Dreamer” during the classical-inspired arrangement.
“We Three Kings” is given a unique treatment with an appealing groove, muted trumpet, and a melody that only emerges gradually during the danceable performance. “Come Emmanuel” sounds quite exotic in this new setting with a fine contribution from trumpeter English.
The remaining five selections put the focus very much on Carol Albert’s melodic piano playing. “Carol Of The Bells” has a classical feel, “Deck The Halls” is modernized quite effectively, and “Greensleeves” is beautifully and thoughtfully played, sounding as if the pianist is thinking aloud. After a relaxed and respectful treatment of “Silent Night,” the program concludes with a very sensitive solo piano rendition of “Christmas Time Is Here.”
Christmas Mystique lives up to its title, a set full of subtle creativity and quiet but often stirring interpretations of music related to the holiday season. Carol Albert’s CD is well worth several listens.
Buy and Download this video in the Official Carol Albert Store
SCOTT YANNOW - ALL MUSIC GUIDE
"Lush, soaring melodies which allow you to use imagination as you become one with sweet imagery."
DESERT NEWS - SALT LAKE CITY, UT
"The Instrumentals are songs in which, instead of vocals, pianos, synthesizers and other instruments, speak-their cadence and phrasing seeming to enunciate unspoken lyrics."
R. NEWLIN - MARRIOTT PLATINUM CUSTOMER
"The purpose of this letter is to recognize Carol Albert, one of your best assets for your visitors."
DENNIS NARANJO - WFBE 95.1 FM
"Your CD has commanded a great deal of play time. Listeners are asking when your next will be released."
JONN SERRIE - RECORDING ARTIST
Stunning.....simply stunning and original all the way around. Congrats to you, Trammel and everyone who worked on Christmas Mystique. Loved Emmanuel and gonna listen a lot more today!
S. M. GALIOTO - RIGHT MGMT CONSULTANTS
"Thank you for a wonderful performance. Your music was enjoyed by all."