Best-known for being the "Lambert" in the premier jazz vocal group Lambert, Hendricks Ross, Dave Lambert was already a veteran singer when that ensemble was formed in 1957. Originally a drummer, Lambert sang with Johnny Long's big band for a year. He was with Gene Krupa's Orchestra (1944-1945) and when he sang What's This with Buddy Stewart, it was considered the first vocal version of a bop line. On an infrequent basis during the late '40s and early '50s, Lambert led a group of singers. He appeared with Charlie Parker on a Royal Roost broadcast (1949) and his singers backed Bird on his 1953 recordings of Old Folks and In the Still of the Night, renditions that are somewhat bizarre. Lambert recorded a few numbers with his vocal group for Capitol in 1949 and teamed up with John Hendricks (along with two other singers) for the first time in 1955 for an obscure version of Four Brothers. After Lambert, Hendricks Ross became popular in 1957, that group dominated his activities, although Lambert did record a solo album for United Artists in 1959. He stayed with the ensemble after it became Lambert, Hendricks Bavan in 1962 (when Annie Ross was succeeded by Yolande Bavan) until its breakup in 1964. The warm-voiced singer's last recording was a scat-filled version of Donna Lee performed at a 1965 Charlie Parker memorial concert. Dave Lambert died tragically in 1966, hit by a car while changing a tire. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi

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