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Dave Lambert Biography

Dave Lambert

Born: 1917. Died: 1966. Lived in: United States

David Alden Lambert was an American jazz lyricist, singer, and an originator of vocalese. He was best known as a member of the trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. Lambert spent a lifetime experimenting with the human voice, and expanding the possibilities of its use within jazz.

Lambert's band debut was with Johnny Long's Orchestra in the early 1940s.(1) Along with early partner Buddy Stewart, Lambert successfully brought singing into modern jazz (concurrently with Ella Fitzgerald). In the late 1950s he teamed with wordsmith and vocalese pioneer Jon Hendricks. The two were later joined by Annie Ross, and the lineup was a hit.

After Ross left the group in 1962, Lambert and Hendricks went on without her by using various replacements, but the partnership ended in 1964. He then formed a quintet called "Lambert & Co." which included the multiple voices of Mary Vonnie, Leslie Dorsey, David Lucas, and Sarah Boatner. The group auditioned for RCA in 1964, and the process was documented by filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker in a 15-minute documentary entitled Audition at RCA, and the Charlie Parker with Voices. It was one of the last images recorded of Lambert, as two years later he was killed in a highway incident.

Member of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross - Founder


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