The Troy Street Observer

June 19, 1917: Dave Lambert Born

Photo of Dave Lambert in 1964
Dave Lambert, 1964

Dave Lambert is one of those musicians who might fail the “who is a Boston jazz musician” test, depending on who administers the test. But I’m the administrator on this here blog, and I say he passes. Besides, any town would be proud to claim him, because if anyone ever made a joyful jazz noise, it was David Alden Lambert.

Lambert was born and raised in Boston, but apart from working for three years as a drummer in the late thirties, we don’t know much about his pre-army days. He put himself on the jazz map in January 1945 with Gene Krupa’s band, teaming with Buddy Stewart to sing “What’s This?,”credited as the first recording with vocalists singing a bop line.

In 1949 Stewart, speaking of Lambert, told Metronome “He’s undoubtedly the greatest bop singer in the business. He’s got such a mind; he sings things that no other bop singer sings. His ideas are wonderful; he improvises like the greatest!”

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