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Fly Away Butterfly

PRIVATE [43:35]




Fly Away Butterfly


On My Way

Across the Sky

One Way

Mas Que Nada

Chasing Waterfalls

Never Thought It Would Be This Way


Fly Away Butterfly (Reprise)

Carol Albert (lead vocals, backing vocals, piano, keyboards/synths): background vocals: (Alfreda Gerald: 1,3,5,6,8,10: Cheryl Rogers/Tony Hightower 3,5): Susan Bennett and Ivette Ballara (voice over Spanish): Sam Skelton (flute, saxophone): Darren English (trumpet, 2,6): Melvin Miller (trumpet, 3):Chris Blackwell (guitar: 3,4,5,7,8): Englesson Silva: (acoustic guitar, 6): Sam Sims (bass, 3,8): Joe Reda (bass, 4,7): Chocolat Costa (bass, 6 ) Trammell Starks (key bass 2, 5 additional keys/synths 2, 5): Rafael Pereira (percussion): Scott Meeder (drums 2,3,8): Rafael Pereira (drums 4,6): Wayne Viar (drums 7)


After the death of her husband in 2014, Carol Albert returned to composing after a break in her recording life. This album is the direct result, an exploration of love and loss, but one experienced through the prism of her fusion-drenched musical milieu, a kind of crossover catharsis. Trammell Starks is co-producer and multi-instrumentalist on the album and has clearly been a prime mover in Albertís return to the recording studio.

The production is relatively busy with a deal of overdubbing and thereís a lot of vocalising alongside flute and sax on the emblematic opening track Ė with which the disc also closes Ė Fly Away Butterfly, where the iridescent wings are conjured in an ambient frisson of sound. More is being wished on its journey than a butterfly, one feels. Muted trumpet and airy flute suffuse Awakening in which the piano playing is springy, and the rhythm is tight; the sonic colour evoked is most attractive. By direct contrast thereís a celebratory, funky quality to On My Way in which the raunch of a New York 80s disco is revisited, thick funk bass to the fore in the balance. The loping crossover fusion element is pervasive, not least on the easy and light-fingered Across the Sky and in the Al Jarreau tribute One Way with plenty of sonic wash and programming courtesy of Starks where Albertís keyboard playing and vocals are generous.

Albertís predilection for Latin rhythms and textures appears discreetly throughout but itís at its most overt, naturally, on Mas que nada and it opens the stylistic and musical horizons attractively as does the following track, Chasing Waterfalls. This is the most romantic piece on the disc, where some pop-based pianism and deft duetting and interplay between sax and nylon string guitar augment the reverie feel to a fine, open-hearted degree. Albert plays some of her nimblest piano lines on Transition where the aura is again tinged with the ambient.

Mixing reflective refinement with soul fusion sounds like a recipe for disaster, but Albert and her band have avoided the trap even though there are times when one might have wished for some standards to leaven things.

Jonathan Woolf


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