Born: June 15 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Inspired by her jazz-loving parents and childhood addresses that spanned the globe, Ms. Lambert began singing professionally in coffee shops at the age of 12. Mentored by veterans of the Montreal jazz scene, including trumpeter Herbie Spanier, and influenced by the diverse vocal traditions of flamenco, fado, and jaipong, she grew up playing in professional jam sessions with visiting artists such as vocalist Jon Hendricks. She would go on to further refine her musical style studying with vocalist Jay Clayton, the legendary Cecil Taylor and others at the Banff Jazz Workshop. Geoff Chapman of the Toronto Star wrote that unadorned elegance is the keynote of Jeannette Lambert's singing and she was named one of the 500 best jazz vocalists of all time by author Scott Yanow in his book, Jazz Singers. She has performed around the world, written lyrics for music recorded by a number of other jazz vocalists, and co-founded the artist collective/record label Jazz From Rant with her brother, guitarist Reg Schwager, and her husband, drummer Michel Lambert, in 1991.
Since starting a family she has also produced two cds of children's jazz music with her group, Bebop for Babies. Recently she sang free jazz versions of Emily Bronte poems on Michel Lambert's cd, Unclouded Day, released by Ayler Records. She has also released her jazz versions of classic Christmas carols, Jeannettically Modified Christmas Songs.
Her album, Born to be Blue, features a collection of her favourite jazz standards, performed with Reg Schwager (guitar), Neil Swainson (bass) and Michel Lambert (drums. Jeannette, Reg and Michel travelled to Bali, Indonesia where they performed music from Born to Blue as well as collaborating with many great Balinese musicians. She is working on a new repertoire of music inspired by their travels in Bali as well as a series of compositions based on dream-inspired haiku. She also appears on the new cd by Phil May entitled Sudbury, singing in both French and English.
François Couture, All Music Guide
Pick of the Week: Amidst a crowded room of experimental female jazz vocalists, Jeannette Lambert comes across as a refreshing alternative to the usual sound manipulators. Her style is more reminiscent of avant-psych-folk from the 1960s than any jazz vocalist; think of her as a cross between ESP-Disk folk, Fairport Convention, and Patty Waters. Her voice has a sing-song quality that buoys up even the compellingly dark musical atmospheres created here by Phillips, Bley, and Michel Lambert ... This fascinating disc is also further proof of the vitality of Quebec’s jazz scene.
Justin Glick, WNUR