Midnight Blue (CD)
As Confucius says, isn’t it a pleasure to have an old friend visit from afar? Dawn Lambeth’s singing on this recording not only brings to mind the great singers of the classic jazz era, it establishes her as a worthy heir to their legacy. In relation to her contemporaries, Dawn is an aberration, she remains true to the disciplines of melody, intonation and musical craftsmanship that were the standards of the era of Bing Crosby, Maxine Sullivan, Lee Wiley and so many others. To lovers of the music of the Swing Era, her singing is like a visit from an old friend, a happy reminder of a bygone era.
Dawn’s focus is on the music of the 1930s and ‘40s, a period of refined songwriting and the first flowering of the soloist’s art in jazz. For this recording she has assembled 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.” She 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. Featured soloists in the septet include pianist Ray Skjelbred and saxophonist John Smith, while the small group features guitarist Paul Mehling (of the Hot Club of San Francisco/Le Jazz Hot). The result is a perfect blend between singer and accompaniment.
Personnel: Tom Wilson:bass, Clint Baker:guitar, Mike Baird:clarinet and tenor saxophone, Jeff Hamilton:drums, Marc Caparone:cornet and bass, Ray Skjelbred:piano, Paul Mehling:guitar, John Smith:soprano and alto saxophone
Released: July, 2005