...As I listened to this disc, I thought about what singers Lambeth recalled, and three came immediately to mind, Maxine Sullivan, Rosemary Clooney and Rebecca Kilgore, not because of the sound of her voice, but because of her laid back but confident reading of the lyrics to each song, done with respect for the words, and a full understanding of the way that they should be sung to convey the lyricists’ intent. A special nod of tribute should be added toward Michael Steinman for his literate, informative and perceptive liner notes. This is a musical package of pure pleasure.
Joe Lang, Jersey Jazz
Wow! Wow! Triple wow for Dawn Lambeth. What a great album!
George Middleton, KLBC Long Beach
Dawn Lambeth’s new CD is a gem. . .with great songs, stylish singing and first rate musicianship! Kudos to all concerned.
Bob Collins, The Jazz Cafe, WRHU
...I can honestly say it’s one of the best jazz albums I’ve heard all year. Dawn doesn’t hog anything. This delightful standard jazz album will harken you back to the days of the ‘30s when a singer was just one of the instruments, not the “leader” or the reason the song exists. She comes in when she feels like it, she takes a vacation when she wants, letting the song go on without her (and not for the sake of others doing solos). I love that. It’s what keeps me listening to old big band radio shows.
That, mixed with an able voice from the K.D. Lang camp (without all the whole notes), makes Dawn’s release one of the brightest lights in jazz now. Literally, Let’s Get Lost is a flashlight, and I hope it shines ahead for imitation!
Ben Ohmart, Soopah Music
Something‘s going on over on the west coast where a bunch of jazz singers are suddenly struck with the Boswell Sisters. Lambeth is also a fan of that era. This is a dandily loping set that focuses on swing tunes from the 20s to the 40s and just hits you with that after hours vibe in such a smooth and easy way that it really sweeps you off your feet. With assured vocals that show an affinity for the form, Lambeth leads a crew of crack jazz hitters that are all on the same page in a set that has the kind of sound and feel of a cool, unexpected find you would find in a thrift store (not a used shop). Not off beat but delightfully off center. Not nostalgic, not retro, just really cool.
Chris Spector, Midwest Record
Jazz vocalist Dawn Lambeth specializes in singing the music of early swing jazz period and can be booked with the Usonia Jazz Band for professional outings from Paso Robles, California. With “Let’s Get Lost,“ Lambeth features popular songs of the Great American Songbook from the early Swing era, singing the music of such legendary composers as George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, the Rodgers and Hart combo and many more. Altogether there are eighteen old time classics totaling 74 minutes plus of music.
This is clearly a special album that will appeal to audiences who can appreciate the classic swing music of a romantic by gone era with a perceived innocents not found in today’s modern music. Lambeth, described as having a “dark-toned alto” voice, is actually quite charming here and provides new reads on some very old and oft heard standards. She’s a graceful singer whose cool approach serves her well here. From Frank Loesser’s title song to Rodgers and Hart’s “Blue Room,” the repertoire includes “If You Were Mine,” “C’est Si Bon,” “They Can’t Take That Away from Me,” “It Could Happen To You,” “I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues” and “Let’s Misbehave” just to name a few.
The Lady is joined here by a light eight-man ensemble featuring drummer Jeff Hamilton, who also plays piano here, saxophonist John Smith, clarinetist Bob Reitmeier, the father and son team of Dave and Marc Caparone, Chris Dawson on the piano and rounding out the rhythm section, John Reynolds on guitar and Clint Baker on bass.
If renditions of early jazz and swing music are something that you enjoy, then Dawn Lambeth’s “Let’s Get Lost” will take you on a lovely journey to the music of the past and the foundations of jazz.
Ed Blanco, eJazzNews
Dawn Lambeth, who earlier this year appeared at the Derby with an all-star group of swing and classic jazz players, is a cheerful 1920s/30s jazz singer. Her style is conversational and friendly, a bit like that of Maxine Sullivan. When she improvises notes or words, it sounds like a logical part of the song, an “improvement” that works. On Let’s Get Lost, she is assisted by a notable octet (clarinetist Bob Reitmeier, John Smith on alto and soprano, cornetist Marc Caparone, trombonist Dave Caparone, pianist Chris Dawson, guitarist John Reynolds, bassist Clint Baker and drummer Jeff Hamilton) that often makes the performances reminiscent of the early Billie Holiday records with Teddy Wilson. That connection is reinforced by Chris Dawson, who on this date generally sounds similar to Wilson, the relatively brief performances (no song lasts longer than 5:07), and the repertoire. While Lady Day never sang “Let’s Get Lost” or nearly half of the 18 songs, the style and frameworks are similar and just as rewarding. Historic models aside, Dawn Lambeth has her own approach to interpreting swing standards, she often includes the verses, and she clearly believes in the words and the timeless spirit of the music.
Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene
When I started playing cut one I realized what has been missing in most of the jazz-swing releases today…..“rhythm guitar”. This is the best CD I have heard in years. Dawn is SUPERB and this CD leads the pack. The song selection is excellent and her backing band is outstanding. I really enjoy listening to clarinet, cornet, piano, alto and even trombone solos with the vocalist instead of the usual tenor on every cut. This is what makes LET’S GET LOST a winner!
Jim Stone, WLNZ Lansing, MI
Dawn is a wonderful jazz vocalist that any bandleader from the heyday would love to have. She has assembled an excellent eight piece band who give her covers of old standards weight and authority. Her release is heavy on the Gershwin with three tracks, but you also get Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and many others from back in the day. Dawn does a great job of being true to the original songs while still injecting her own personality into them. One of the most interesting and provocative songs on the disc is the great “I Wish I Were Twins” with the provocative lines “I wish I were twins, so I could love you twice as much. Four arms to hold you and two sets of lips to kiss you.” Anyway, this is easily one of the best new recordings of old jazz standards I have ever heard.
Grog Mutant, The Chicken Fish Speaks
Her website states that on Let’s Get Lost (Spanish Shawl Music), Dawn Lambeth offers her lilting effervescent style and along with her band she does just that.
All of the songs are reinterpretations of the standards, be it “Let’s Misbehave”, “On The Sunny Side Of The Street”, “C’est Si Bon”, “Isn’t This A Lovely Day (To Be Caught In The Rain)”, and Lambeth has somewhat of a June Christy vibe in some of these performances. The music also sounds like the kind of jazz and pop made in the late 30’s and early 40’s, before jazz made significant changes on some of those V-Discs only made available to servicemen in the military. Regardless of how old these songs are, they hold up very well because of what the lyrics try to convey, a certain humbleness and simplicity that regardless of what anyone says, has not been lost in time. These are the songs that dreams are still made of, and Lambeth has the kind of voice that will soothe and warm up any cold night. It has a retro feel but yet still sounds like it was made in the 21st century, perhaps a way to say that what’s old can be made new again. That, or that these songs age gracefully.
John Book, The Run Off Groove
Dawn Lambeth - Let’s Get Lost 4/4
O’s Notes: The band opens playing a ragtime beat before Dawn adds the words to “Let’s Get Lost”. Lambeth focuses on music from the 1920s-1940s. Her vocal characteristics are perfect for this material and easy to warm up to. The lyrics are well articulated with an easy-going pace on “Beginner’s Luck”. She shares the stage with her band, a talented crew including Bob Reitmeier (cl), John Reynolds (g, banjo, whistling), John Smith (sax), Marc Caparone (cornet, b), Dave Caparone (tb), Clint Baker (g, b) and Chris Dawson (p). So if you want to take a ride back to the swing era with some Dixieland thrown in, this is your ticket. But the sound quality is 21st century making for a real treat
D. Oscar Groomes, O's Place Jazz Newsletter
Some discs beg for the big speakers in the big room. Those are the ones with the big bands, the lush strings, the full-throttle singers. Dawn Lambeth and her band are smaller than that. Smaller in size perhaps, but certainly not in quality.
There’s a relaxed simplicity that I find appealing, a swingy style that’s hard to resist. I took a second trip through the tracks, and paid more attention to the backing band. It’s larger than I first thought. The band actually numbers eight members; and while there are a number of notable solo performances (including a whistler), there’s no doubt about who’s up front here.
It’s the girl singer, and she’s doggone good.
These guys do a great job of framing Ms. Lambeth’s classic alto, reminding me of a young Jo Stafford. Close your eyes, and you can almost hear the radio announcer saying, “Now from the ballroom of the elegant Metropole Hotel, the music of…”
Lots of clarinet (from Rob Reitmeier) helps evoke the 30s and 40s, and is what made the tracks jump out for me in the first place. A toast would be appropriate - to Marc Caparone on coronet and bass; his dad, Dave, on trombone. John Smith on saxophone, Clint Baker on guitar and bass. Jeff Hamilton on drums, and John Reynolds on guitar and banjo. He’s also the whistler on Irving Berlin’s “Isn’t This A Lovely Day (To Be Caught In The Rain),” one of my favorites on the disc, along with Frank Loesser’s swingy “I Wish I Were Twins.” Chris Dawson on piano keeps everything moving along nicely, and stands out on several tracks, including the title track, “Let’s Get Lost.”
But it’s Ms. Lambeth’s voice that makes it all work. All this simplicity is tougher than it seems, in that there’s no scooping into the notes, just a crisp forward motion, given Ms. Lambeth’s gifted talent for phrasing. She makes it seem simple, and that’s her great talent.
A whopping eighteen tracks on this disc make it a value in more ways than one. Plenty of classics, such as ”My Blue Heaven,” and “Give Me The Simple Life” are included. But there are also some lesser-known gems, like “I May Be Wrong (But I Think You’re Wonderful),” a 1929 tune from Henry Sullivan and Harry Ruskin.
This disc is filled with very, very good stuff - and is very highly recommended.
Three and one-half stars (out of four)
Doug Boynton, Girl Singers
(Excerpted, read the whole article here
Even if you can’t sing, and I sure count myself in that group, you can’t help wanting to swing along with Dawn Lambeth on her recent release, Let’s Get Lost (Spanish Shawl Music). Although residing in trendy southern California, Dawn eschews the abundant pop and rock covers of many of her contemporaries, instead delving (sometimes quite deeply) into the songbooks of the 20s and 30s, noting that “the older era just felt more authentic to my own style.”
“Dream Man” (Milton Ager and Joseph Young) was new to me, and the instrumental introduction hooked me immediately, particularly Dawson’s piano, Dave Caparone’s trombone and the deep pacesetting from Baker’s prancing bass. If this multitalented band has a single track that displays its skills and charms best, it’s “Dream Man.” And if Dawn Lambeth has a single standout track (which, really, is not limited to one), perhaps it’s her longing phrases on “If You Were Mine,” introduced by John Reynolds’ guitar, Dave Caparone’s soulful trombone and some of Chris Dawson’s most intricate piano phrases.
It’s too difficult to single out among the rest: the delightfully mischievous “Let’s Misbehave” (great banjo from Reynolds); the lovely voice/guitar duet intro (and more) with Reynolds on “My Blue Heaven;” the French café-in-the-sunshine joy of “C’est Si Bon;” Dawn’s bright lilt above the band’s sweet swing on “I May Be Wrong (But I Think You’re Wonderful);” the heavier syncopation of “I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues;” and the marriage of voice and brass in utterly swinging satisfaction on “On the Sunny Side of the Street.”
Let’s Get Lost takes the listener on a joyous journey down the sunny side of Swing Street. Every song reveals a deep well of supportive musical talents and, thanks to Dawn Lambeth, every word, every verse opens like a perfect rose. Let’s Get Lost is a delightfully fragrant bouquet.
Andrea Canter, Jazz Police
Dawn, thanks for that Disc of Truth & Beauty. You are a plum wonderful singer.
I love the songs you pick—great taste—you must be an avid record collector or a music listener both sensitive and voracious.
Nice job with the verse on With a Song in My Heart.
Band is swell, too. Always admired Reitmeier. Reynolds is really fine. Nice pulse in the rhythm section throughout. How I envy you for performing and recording with those guys. How I envy them for congregating around a singer of such quality.”
Mike Plaskett, host of WDUQ's NPR’s internationally syndicated “Rhythm Sweet & Hot,