Dawn Lambeth
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Dawn Lambeth

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""...an excellent swing singer""

Dawn Lambeth is an excellent swing singer from Northern California who is influenced most by the simple and straightforward style of Maxine Sullivan. Her voice is pleasing, she sticks close to the melody and lyrics, and she does a fine job on her debut recording…. her gentle and likable voice is the main reason to acquire this swing set.
- Scott Yanow - Los Angeles Jazz Scene

""This evocative CD will give great pleasure...""

There is a long, rewarding lineage of recordings where a sweet-voiced girl singer works easily with a small, swinging jazz combination - going back to Annette Hanshaw and forward to the present. Dawn Lambert's debut CD is a happy addition to that tradition, her voice delicate and swinging. Billie Holiday had the advantage of working with the great Basie soloists, but she also had to endure "Under A Blue Jungle Moon"; Lambert and Co. have the advantage of historical distance, so they have picked some of the best material of the Thirties. The CD is enthusiastic but perfectly focused, never replacing subtlety with mere clamor, and Lambeth melds effortlessly with her swinging accompanists.

Lambeth approaches a melody with great respect for the lyrics; her enunciation is clear, her time splendid, her voice attractive in itself, without flourishes. The result is a pleasing symbiosis, with Lambeth seeming to float over an already flexible, propulsive group, and she isn't flustered by quicker tempos. Although she knows the tradition, her performances aren't tied to older recordings. Her West Coast colleagues are splendid players, for the most part what Down Beat used to characterize as "talent deserving wider recognition." The wonderful trumpeter Marc Caparone should be recording on his own; I don't think he has any peers at summoning up Red Allen's fiery delicacy while sounding entirely like himself, and his phrases never fall into predictable four or eight-bar modules. John Smith, on alto or soprano, is an immediate asset to any band: he doesn't demand the listener's attention, but close listening will reveal both his mastery of his horns as well as a seasoned intelligence: like Caparone, he has an individual sound and that rare thing, the maturity to know what to leave out. Ray Skjelbred adds his own idiosyncratic, satisfying mixture of Wilson, Hines, and Joe Sullivan, and Paul Mehling brings Django in on a brief trip from Paris. All this is splendidly supported by the powerful bass of Tom Wilson and the irrepressible work of drummer Jeff Hamilton. This evocative CD will give great pleasure, and I hope it is the first of a long series.
- Michael Steinman - Mississippi Rag

""The CD fairly bursts out of the speakers...""

Compact discs such as these suggest that there is vivid, swinging life in Jazz traditions - and that "traditional" need not be self-consciously historical. [Midnight Blue] is the latest in a happy lineage stretching back to the late Twenties and especially the Thirties - someone who might, fifty years ago, have been called a "girl singer," a "canary," or even a "chirp" (if you believe that anyone ever used the slang found in archaic Down Beat issues) with a small, flexible, hot band around her, singing the best music of the period. The CD fairly bursts out of the speakers - not with volume but with a joyous vitality that is too rare today - and Lambeth's voice, airy and gentle, floats above her gifted accompanists. Her approach is straightforward and unaffected, without tricks or gimmicks, and she's not trapped in recreations of 1938 Vocalions. She is engaged in the music and having a good time, and her pleasure communicates itself immediately to listeners...If you think that the Mildred Bailey, Billie Holiday, and Maxine Sullivan dates of the great period are ethereal pleasures (and who would not?) you will find this CD evocative although not hemmed in by their records. I look forward to many more rewarding Dawn Lambeth CDs. - Cadence


Summer 2007, new CD is in production!
2004 Midnight Blue - Dawn Lambeth www.cdbaby.com/lambeth
2003 Tears - The Clint Baker New Orleans Jazz Band
2002 What's the Use of Crying, Baby? Marc Caparone and his Usonia Six



(Note: the following is just a brief bio, please visit our website at www.usoniajazz.com to see our current calendar, CD reviews, more song clips, applause and additional info about our group.)

Dawn Lambeth and the Usonia Jazz Band - elegant, effervescent entertainment for your event! We specialize in early jazz and swing, the joyous and romantic melodies of the 'Great American Songbook' of the twenties, thirties and forties. We can add just the right atmosphere to your event, from elegant dinners and cocktail parties to swing dances to Mardi Gras parades. Whether you are planning a casual afternoon party or a formal ballroom affair, your guests will be delighted by the effervescent and polished sounds of our group.

Our musicians are recognized as some of the finest in this genre; our collective experience includes performances at the Monterey Jazz Festival, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the Smithsonian, tours of Europe and Japan, and work on cruise ships and at jazz festivals and clubs throughout the US. Danceable music is our specialty; our musicians have played in some legendary swing clubs, including the Club Deluxe and the Great American Music Hall.

Jazz vocalist and pianist Dawn Lambeth has captivated audiences across America with her effervescent renditions of jazz classics. Her swinging singing has thrilled radio listeners in 23 states, as well as Australia and Puerto Rico. Her grace and confidence evoke the queens of jazz, eliciting comparisons from jazz aficionados to “the wonderful music of Lee Wiley, Maxine Sullivan, Billie Holiday, Ivie Anderson, and an early Ella Fitzgerald.”

Influences include Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Maxine Sullivan, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington.