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.
Carol's latest album is a great example of smooth jazz, as it is polished and refined within an inch of its life, with a very strong late Seventies feeling throughout. Her vocals are clean and gentle, and the music is exactly what one would expect from the genre (although I must make mention of some strong basswork from Sam Sims). As well as singing, Carol also provides keyboards, and I actually enjoyed the instrumentals more than I did the actual songs, as although the emotion has been removed, these at least have more vitality to them Although I know that there are those who enjoy the genre, it can never be anything more than background music for me. But, if this style of music is of interest then I suggest you visit CarolAlbertMusic.com where you can hear some of the material.
Review by Gonzo Weekly Issue #258
Repost from "The Current Hub" - archived post - By Tripp Liles, Editor.
Carol Albert is featured in the Current Hub (a Wellstar Publication). Click the below images to read the Profile Interview on Carol.