Carol is featured in the latest edition of the SmoothJazzNetwork Magazine. You can access the article here!
Each week we'll take you 'Behind the Beats' to learn more about the artists that play on our airwaves. This week: Carol Albert.
Carol Albert is back with a new single. Her third single and title track from her latest album “Magic Mirror”. “Magic Mirror” has already yielded two Top-5 hits and the positive buzz on the title track is already circulating throughout smooth jazz radio. We grabbed a few moments to catch up with the talented artist this week.
Carol, Thanks for taking some time with us! Now that you are releasing the title track as a single, please tell us how “Magic Mirror”, the title (and project) came about.
The project began with the collaboration online on a new tune with writers Shane Theriot, Paul Brown and myself. I went to California to perform for the Catalina Island Jazz Trax Festival and recorded the piano for ”Magic Mirror” while I was there. Shane Theriot suggested the title and it was perfect for my concept of the Album – self-reflection in this era of new awakenings and self-acceptance of the person in the mirror. Finally the “Magic Mirror” can be seen as an “escape”, taking you to different places a la Alice in Wonderland, allowing you to dream or fantasize wherever it leads. The project continued from there.
I know your song writing is a very personal process. Tell us a little about how you gain inspiration for a new tune.
I usually start by hearing a melody and adding harmonies to that. Sometimes I put words with the melody and it takes shape from there. The melodies come to me at different times either while driving in a car or in my dreams and I usually try to get to a piano as soon as possible to record the ideas on my iPhone. Other times I just play the piano and turn on the iPhone and listen later to pull a snippet from that.
Songwriting and recording is a very layered process. Do you have specific guest artists in mind as you are composing?
Sometimes I do such as ”Femme Flight” which I specifically composed for Ragan Whiteside to record her Flute. Other times the composition takes shape as it evolves adding the instrument that is most appropriate.
I’ve seen you perform live and I can tell that you love it. What is it about performing live that excites you the most?
I like the energy and feedback from the audience while I’m performing. Also performing with other musicians “live” is lots of fun.
And who are some of the artists that you like to see live?
I saw Billy Joel at Madison Square Gardens and always enjoy his performances as well as Elton John who is one of my heroes. I heard Stevie Wonder at the Grammys sing one of my favorite tunes “Higher Ground” this year and he is always phenomenal. I enjoy hearing other performers at Jazz Festivals and local clubs in Atlanta.
Any favorite live concert moments?
I loved the standing ovation at the Smith Center, Myron’s Cabaret Jazz in Las Vegas, performing “Fire & Water” for the 1st time at Catalina Island with co-writer/bassist Roberto Vally and Saxophonist on the track Andrew Neu, and playing special requests from the audience for my original tunes
What’s on the schedule for the rest of 2023?
I have shows booked in different areas of the country with many in Georgia, North Carolina, Berks in Pennsylvania and others to be announced soon. I continue writing new music and working on a couple of different projects.
Carol appears in the Smooth Jazz Magazine "Beats". Click this link and support Beats c/o Smooth Jazz Network!
REPOST courtesy of Smooth Jazz Network
Carol Albert’s new single “Fire & Water” is moving into POWER rotation on the SJN this week, so we thought we’d grab a few moments with Carol to see how things are going so far in 2022.
Your latest single “Fire & Water” debuts on the SMOOTH JAZZ TOP 20 this weekend! Congratulations on another hit tune. Tell us about the genesis of this track, co-written with Roberto Vally. I met Roberto a few years ago when he played on my last Album “Stronger Now” at Paul Brown’s Studio. We worked on a writing project for my new Album last spring remotely sending tracks back and forth. At the completion of that track we decided to work on another song with a little Brazilian flavor and “Fire & Water” was hatched out of the collaboration.
And the title?
I originally named the song “Firewater” because it’s the 1st thing that came to my mind. It evolved into “Fire & Water” which described the mixed sections from the smooth flowing beginning to the fiery passionate drum section and mixing these two elements on the track for an exotic vibe.
And Andrew Neu on sax?
Originally I wanted the Flute on this track. Roberto has a long-standing working history with Andrew and recommended him to add the Flute. We sent the track and asked him also to add Saxophone along with the Flute. The Saxophone sounded so great with Andrew playing it we decided to go with the awesome Saxophone performance he gave.
The art for the single is a striking combination of fire and water forming the shape of a heart. How did you come up with the graphic?
I wanted to combine the elements of Fire & Water in a graphic and I thought the shape of a heart with Fire & Water depicted the spirit of the composition. The combination of the two created a very vivid graphic on a black background.
“Fire & Water” was debuted at the Jazz Trax Festival in Catalina late last year. How was it to play that venue? It was a dream come true for me. I loved everything about Catalina Jazz Trax Festival including being able to debut the new Single “Fire & Water” with the players Roberto Vally and Andrew Neu that performed on the recording. It was well received which brought tears to my eyes.
Must have felt nice to be performing live again…
It’s always great to play live and to be able to perform with incredible musicians. I’ve missed performing during this Covid time even though I did perform at Elkhart jazz Festival in June, a special event on July 4, Woodward Park Jazz series in Atlanta. There’s no substitute for interacting with a live audience and the immediate feedback you get. I had some avid fans at the show as well which made it really fun.
What’s on tap for you in 2022?
I’m working on completing my new Album to be released in 2022. I have some other projects I’m working on. I will be performing at the Berks Jazz Fest April 7, In Pennsylvania May 1, other dates also to be announced.
Carol is featured and interviewed in the Sept/Oct issue of Smooth Jazz Magazine. Support this wonderful magazine and buy this issue.
Carol recently performed at the Elkhart Jazz Festival in June and a private event in Birmingham, AL on July 4th. To help celebrate the return of live music, Smooth Jazz Magazine recently featured Carol in their magazine (July/August 2021 edition). Help support Smooth Jazz Magazine by clicking this link.