This recording of soul, funk, ballads and blues was 23 years in the making but some things are worth waiting for! This recording is not “inspirational music” yet the story behind the recording is truly an inspiration. Recommended listening for Claudia’s die-hard fans.
REVIEW by Bill Wilson, DJ, April 2014
Unfinished Business, EllerSoul Records ER1404-017
Scheduled for release in 1991, the aptly titled “Unfinished Business” did not get released as scheduled when life took some unexpected twists. Fast forward some 23 years and change the release date to April 15, 2014 and the old adage “good things come to those who wait” becomes pleasantly true. This is a great piece of work on so many levels. The performance is flawless, the vocal work is immaculate and the release has a timeless sound a feel. A great deal of that might be attributed to the fact that the album was essentially done in 1991but the world is a much brighter place for the fact that this piece will finally see the light of day. Comprised of 12 originals and two well-chosen covers, one by Ray Charles and the other by Louis Prima, this is a beautiful piece of work any way you slice it. Claudia Carawan’s work on vocals is a perfect match for the style and the era in which the original style would have been done. It should be noted that she plays alto sax as well. Unfinished Business is a wonderful blend of jump, somewhat traditional blues, hard-driving numbers and soulful, sensuous ballads. The world owes a great deal of thanks to the folks at EllerSoul for making this recording a reality after such a long wait. With the changes in technology and the work that had to done to bring it into a form that could be used in today’s modern studio, it is a minor miracle that this one saw the light of day at all. This is another one of those pieces that belongs in the collection of everyone who might consider themselves fans of jazz, blues or just good music in general. The arrangements are superb, the tunes, though written in 1991 or earlier, have the feel and sound of material written in the 1920s and 30s.
I’ve heard people say that if they were stranded on a deserted island with just a couple albums for their listening pleasure that they would take certain albums. If I found myself in that position, this is one of the pieces I would want to have with me. Needless to say, I recommend Unfinished Business highly. You could do much worse but you could not do much better. – Bill Wilson