One of contemporary jazz’s true breakaway artists of 2018 with three consecutive Billboard charting hits, keyboardist/composer Carol Albert keeps the momentum flowing with her latest single “Femme Flight,” which was the #2 most added track on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart its first week out!
A bright and high spirited, Brazilian-tinged celebration of creative freedom, the track features Carol on piano and wordless vocals in an ensemble featuring two of the genre’s most acclaimed emerging female artists, flutist Ragan Whiteside and saxophonist Magdalena Chovankova from the chart-topping German band Threestyle. Produced, written and arranged by Carol and mixed by Paul Brown, the track features the dynamic rhythm section of Nathaniel Kearney (from Dave Koz’s touring band) and drummer Jay Williams (from Gerald Albright’s band).
Carol’s most recent chart success was “Chasing Waterfalls,” which stayed on the Billboard National Smooth Jazz Airplay chart and Smooth Jazz Songs chart for 10 weeks, peaking at #15. It also was #1 on Groove Jazz for two weeks, reached #4 on the Smooth Jazz Top 20 and also reached the Top 20 on the SmoothJazz.com chart. Her previous single, the title track to her album Fly Away Butterfly, stayed on the Billboard charts for 18 weeks, peaking at #5. The collection’s first single “One Way,” reached the Top 30 on the Billboard charts.
“It’s been very rewarding to see how my new music has resonated with people, and the radio airplay and appreciation from listeners are a wonderful confirmation that I’m on a strong creative path and achieving my goals on this very personal quest,” says Carol, whose multi-faceted career includes five albums dating back to the 90s, including the new age oriented releases Morning Music and Night Music.
“The songs on Fly Away Butterfly represented a true healing phase in my life, and I am happy to note that one friend who heard ‘Femme Flight’ said, ‘I see your butterfly has morphed into another winged animal’ in free flight. It’s a song that reminds me of being free and having the strength to not only endure but to express that freedom and love of life to the fullest. I always envisioned the track as a female ensemble piece, and I’m delighted that I could showcase the talents of two incredible musicians in Ragan and Magdalena.”
“Femme Flight” is the lead single for Carol’s currently in progress new full length album, due for release April 12.
Permission to Repost: 1/3/2019
One of contemporary jazz’s true breakaway artists of 2018 with three consecutive Billboard charting hits, keyboardist/composer Carol Albert keeps the momentum flowing with her new single, Femme Flight.
A bright and high spirited, Brazilian-tinged celebration of creative freedom, the track features Carol on piano and wordless vocals in an ensemble featuring two of the genre’s most acclaimed emerging female artists, flutist Ragan Whiteside and saxophonist Magdalena Chovancova. “Femme Flight” is produced, written and arranged by Carol Albert, and mixed by Paul Brown.
“It’s been very rewarding to see how my new music has resonated with people, and the radio airplay and appreciation from listeners are a wonderful confirmation that I’m on a strong creative path and achieving my goals on this very personal quest” – Carol Albert
Listen to Femme Flight on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 22/3).
The soulful and infectious piano-driven tune, which eases from a sensual laid back opening into a lively, grooving and free-flowing jam is Written, Arranged and Performed by Carol and Co-produced by Carol with Producer/Keyboardist Trammell Starks. “Chasing Waterfalls” features the dynamic ensemble of saxophonist Sam Skelton, guitarist Chris Blackwell (whose spirited acoustic solo is a highlight), bassist Joseph Patrick Moore, drummer Wayne Viar and Brazilian percussionist Rafael Pereira. It was engineered, mixed and mastered by Starks.
The Single “Fly Away Butterfly” from the Album entered 2018 with the envied Top 5 Billboard Smooth Jazz Chart Position and remained on Billboard for 18 weeks. Other Charts include Smooth Jazz Top 20 at #2, Groove Jazz Chart at #1 for 3 weeks, RadioWave Monitor at #1 Position for 3 weeks, MediaBase, and SmoothJazz.com. The Single “One Way” from the Album was Carol's Debut Billboard Entry at #29 and Charted on all major Smooth Jazz Charts in 2017. Carol Albert’s release “Mas Que Nada” from “Fly Away Butterfly” hit Smooth Jazz Radio with a welcome reception from audiences across the globe and was embraced by SiriusXM Watercolors and other major Radio stations. “Mas Que Nada” hit all the Smooth Jazz Charts with enviable charting positions and remained on Smooth Jazz Charts for six months after release.
"While Carol 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 has rapidly found a niche as an insightful, globally conscious groove and melody-centric contemporary jazz pianist and composer. While not featuring vocals as some of her previous songs have, her latest single, the wistful and spirited “Chasing Waterfalls” captures the essence of the way we go after dreams in a life of challenges, and the way we rise when the world conspires to make us fall. Its movement from contemplative, easily rhythmic verses to explosive, free-spirited choruses reflects the dynamic ebb and flow of life itself – from uncertainty and “testing the water” to full immersion on the path to achieving goals that make life worthwhile. Like her previous single Fly Away Butterfly” it’s a heartfelt song that’s perfect for this moment in time – and another exciting Single from her best full length album yet in “Fly Away Butterfly”.
– Jonathan Widran, Music Connection and Jazziz Magazine.
Carol's Album was reviewed in the Jan/Feb 2018 Australian Magazine, "Rhythms (est. 1992)".
Despite having its roots in Carol's having to come to terms with the passing of her husband in 2014 and therefore an exploration of her journey from loss, through recovery to new beginnings, Fly Away Butterfly is a remarkably upbeat and celebratory album. The Georgia-born Atlanta-based keyboards player, singer and composer certainly knows how to get the very best out of a tune with truly masterful arragnements delivered by a great collection of hot-shot musicians, including bass player Sam Sims, who really cooks on 'On My Way', keyboards and bass player Trammell Starks, who also provides additional horn arrangements, saxophonist Sam Skelton, guitarist Chris Blackwell and percussionist Rafael Pereira (Royal Southern Brotherhood, James Southwell). The inclusion of her interpretation of the classic Sergio Mendes & Brazil 66 hit, 'Mas Que Nada', acknowledges the most obvious influence on the album, that smooth Latin thing Mendes made his own back in the day - and why not? It still moves and certainly grooves, and if music is meant to uplift as well as heal the worst of hurts, I can't think of a better genre in which to occasionally immerse oneself. - Michael Smith c/o Rhythms
Paulding native worked past personal loss to Billboard music charts
By Tom Spigolon Jan 10, 2018 - Marietta Daily Journal
Carol Albert is on a roll.
The Hiram native and longtime classical and jazz musician is on the Billboard music charts with her new Brazilian-influenced, smooth jazz release “Fly Away Butterfly.”
The single “Fly Away Butterfly” entered 2018 in the top 10 of the Billboard Smooth Jazz chart. It also is at No. 4 on the Smooth Jazz Network Top 20 chart and was listed in the RadioWave Monitor at No. 1 Position for three weeks.
She said she is surprised by the response to the song, which is featured in metro Atlanta on such stations as WCLK-FM 91.9.
“I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet,” she said of its Billboard chart position.
Three singles, “On My Way,” “One Way” and “Fly Away Butterfly” from the album charted on all major Smooth Jazz music charts in 2017.
“One Way,” which is Albert’s take on an Al Jarreau hit, placed in the top 100 of the Groove Jazz chart for 2017.
The Paulding County High School graduate said she used the word “butterfly” in the name of her latest CD after the winged insect became a symbol of hope to her after the 2014 death of her husband from a heart attack as he competed in a triathlon.
“I did have a time of extreme difficulty with the loss of my husband and I think it’s important for people to hear that at any age you can pursue dreams you may have always had, that it’s never too late to pursue those dreams,” Albert said.
In a Facebook post, she said, “I just wanted to share that it’s possible to reach a place you’d given up on years ago.
“It’s possible to keep going when your life has crashed, it’s possible to be successful after you had given up, it’s possible to reach deep inside yourself and bring out your best work when you have felt there’s nothing left to give,” she said.
Albert took up the piano and keyboards at the age of 5. She said she honed her craft by playing keyboards during church services in Paulding County and by accompanying her grandmother, who had lost an arm to cancer.
“When I grew up, Atlanta was really far away,” she recalled.
After studying classical music with Paulding piano teacher Kathy Tibbitts, Albert went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in music from Georgia State University.
She worked as a staff accompanist at Georgia State, as well as at Agnes Scott College, Decatur School of Ballet and the Atlanta Ballet.
However, Albert gravitated toward smooth jazz and new age because of her appreciation for such artists as jazz guitarist Michael Franks and Astrud Gilberto, whose “Girl from Ipanema” was a 1960s classic of the genre.
She said she now favors performing music considered to be smooth jazz rather than the classic and progressive jazz of players like Chick Corea or Wynton Marsalis.
The new CD “takes the listener on deeply soulful, exotic journey that artfully blends spirited, jazzy piano melodies, dreamy vocals, punchy percussion textures and hypnotic ambiences,” according to publicity from the artist.
Her video for “Mas Que Nada” is on YouTube. The song is a remake of the 1966 hit song by Sergio Medes and Brasil 66.
Smooth Jazz Network, which is a collective of jazz-oriented radio stations nationwide, nominated her for its “Best New Artist” award for 2017.
She said the nomination is the biggest music industry recognition ars for her as a recording artist in many years.
She received an Emmy Award nomination in 1991 for Outstanding Achievement and Individual Excellence for composing the music for the seven-part PBS Series “The Well-Placed Weed.”
Albert also was a winner in the New Age Music category of the Global Peace Song Awards of 2016. She also celebrated being on the first round ballot of the Grammy Awards in the Contemporary Instrumental category both in 2016 and 2017.
"Fly Away Butterfly” is Albert’s seventh release of music classified as either easy listening or smooth jazz. The first two CDs were released in the early 1990s by a German label, and the remainder in the U.S. — including two Christmas-themed releases — on small or independent labels.
“Carol Of The Bells” from her 2015 “Christmas Mystique” release charted on Billboard as a most-added song in December 2016. SiriusXM’s Watercolors channel radio stations worldwide played the song during the 2016 and 2017 holiday seasons, she said.
Albert noted music distribution and delivery methods have changed dramatically since her first CD release.
The most common way to find her new CD is on Amazon and CD Baby or through her web site carolbertmusic.com, she said.
A resident of Suwanee, she often tours Europe and South America when she is not composing music or teaching music.
She is a regular performer at the Chateau Elan resort in northeast Georgia and performed at music festivals in Suwanee and the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Sandy Springs in the past year.
Here's a direct link to the article on the Marietta Daily Journal website
Carol's album "Fly Away Butterfly" has been reviewed in the latest issue of Smooth Jazz Magazine (issue: January/February 2018). You can order this single issue or subscribe! CLICK HERE
Carol Albert uses music to heal on “Fly Away Butterfly” - By Dodie Miller-Gould
Carol Albert is a vocalist, keyboardist and composer. Her new album, “Fly Away Butterfly” represents Albert’s attempt to resume her music career after tragedy.
An introduction to “Fly Away Butterfly”
Albert’s work on “Fly Away Butterfly” took place after the death of her husband in 2014. The symbolism of the butterfly is clear–change. Having already taken some time off from recording prior to 2014, the tragic loss she suffered served both as a reason to perform, and a means to work through grief.
The CD itself is visually stunning. I realize that is not why people buy music, however, it is worth a look. Deep blue saturates or highlights images of Albert’s face, a large butterfly, also in shades of blue, covers the lower half of her face. On the inside, that same butterfly is poised atop an old-fashioned microphone, and Albert stands behind. She is holding a blue satin sheet that matches the color scheme found elsewhere. The color blue and its representation of sadness, and association with jazz is meaningful here.
The songs found on “Fly Away Butterfly” have a contemporary pop feel to them. Most notable among them are the title track, and “On My Way.” Given Albert’s reason for performing, the content of those songs gain meaning.
“Fly Away Butterfly”
The song opens with a flute’s trill that imitates the flutter of butterfly wings. Albert whispers the title in Spanish. The lyrics center on the title phrase.
Light sounds fill the track. In fact, light sounds fill the album. Albert is not a belter–at least not on this release, and that works here. This song reminds me of a subgenre called “new age jazz.” The purpose is to help listeners relax. As Albert sings, listeners thoughts are colored by the cool blue of the CD cover, and the disc itself.
The music is rich with flute, and it never goes heavy or brassy. Delicate sounds enrich the song’s purpose, and makes the listening that much more enjoyable.
“On My Way”
Heavier than the title track, pop jazz vocals singing syllables dance over the groovy piano. The horns add texture and verve. The backing vocals are a mix of r&b and pop. Albert’s voice is almost too soft here, she is barely heard over the backup singers at times. When the voices take turns singing, Albert is heard more clearly. Her style reminds listeners of pop jazz singers from the 1980s and 1990s–think Everything But the Girl and Swing Out Sister.
As far as the lyrical content goes, Albert is triumphant. She sings about spreading her wings and being on “on my way.” And the sassy saxophone line that fills the end punctuates the words, and listeners believe that Albert will do what she says.
“Fly Away Butterfly” is a light, jazzy exploration of human emotions. Albert makes her private pain public. However, the songs’ form and content allow listeners to ascribe their own meaning to them.
The album is worth a look and a listen. “Fly Away Butterfly” is available Sept. 1, 2017.