Recordings

cdcover1x1 (19K) Midnight Blue The 1930s and '40s was a period of refined songwriting and the first flowering of the soloist‘s art in jazz, and this recording is a collection of songs and musicians that represent the best qualities of that era. The composers represented here, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Rodgers & Hart, the Gershwins and others of lesser fame, define the phrase “Great American Songbook.” Dawn is accompanied by two musical aggregations, one a conventional swing septet, the other a smaller group reminiscent of the “ gypsy swing” collaborations between guitarist Django Reinhardt and American musicians in the late ‘30s. The result is a perfect blend between singer and accompaniment. Released July 2004 on Spanish Shawl.

    Personnel
  • Dawn Lambeth, vocals
  • Clint Baker, guitar
  • Mike Baird, clarinet and tenor saxophone
  • Marc Caparone, cornet
  • Jeff Hamilton, drums
  • Paul Mehling, guitar
  • Ray Skjelbred, piano
  • John Smith, soprano & alto saxophone
  • Tom Wilson, string bass
 

For orders in the US, you can also purchase though this website using Google Checkout. Price listed below includes shipping and handling.

    Midnight Blue is also available at:
  • Full Circle, San Luis Obispo 888 Monterey St, San Luis Obispo, 93401 - (805) 544-5611
  • BooBoo’s Records, San Luis Obispo 978 Monterey St, San Luis Obispo, 93401 - (805) 541-0657
  • Downhome Music 10341 San Pablo Avenue El Cerrito, CA 94530 - (510) 525-2129
  • WinkSF 4107 24th St, San Francisco, 94114 - (415) 401-8881

In the US, you may also purchase by sending a check or money order to Dawn Lambeth, P.O. Box 121, Paso Robles, CA 93447

  • 1 CD - $18.74 ($16 for CD, plus shipping and handling)
  • 2 CD's - $33.50 ($15 for CD, plus shipping and handling)
  • 3 CD's - $48.75 ($15 for CD, plus shipping and handling)
  • 4 CD's - $60 ($15 for CD, free shipping)
  • 5 CD's - $75 ($15 for CD, free shipping)
For orders of more than 5 CD's, or for international orders, please email or call.

Reviews of Midnight Blue

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

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

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.

~ Micheal Steinman, Cadence