Charles Earland is definitely a survivor. The Hammond hero had lost his first wife to cancer when he made a triumphant return to soul-jazz in the late '80s, and he had recovered from a major heart attack when he recorded the appropriately titled Unforgettable. Earland was in the Intensive Care Unit in August 1991, and by December 1991, was back in the studio to record this superb and varied CD. The Philadelphian stressed that he was lucky to be alive, and he celebrates his survival with imaginative interpretations of everything from Joe Henderson's "The Kicker" to Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable" (which he takes a medium speed instead of its usual ballad tempo) to Santana's "Europa." Earland has consistently demonstrated that commercial appeal and accessibility can go hand-in-hand with musical integrity, and Unforgettable is one of many fine examples.
by Alex Henderson