Larry Gelb

New Souls

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    9
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This small label LP features pianist Larry Gelb and a quartet (with Gary Lefebvre on tenor and soprano, bassist Doug Smith and drummer Bob Ventrello) plus singer Kim Parker performing 11 of Gelb's originals. Although a fine pianist, Gelb's compositions lack any memorable melodies, and his philosophical lyrics often come across as awkward. Parker (Charlie Parker's stepdaughter) has an appealing voice, but she cannot do much with the words. Both Gelb and Lefebvre take worthwhile solos on the material, which ranges from advanced hard bop to nearly free improvising; however, the overall results are quite forgettable. Gelb's followup album for Cadence Jazz was a stronger effort.