The premier jazz vocal act of all time, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross revolutionized vocal music during the late ’50s and early ’60s by turning away from the increasingly crossover slant of the pop world to embrace the sheer musicianship inherent in vocal jazz. Applying the concepts of bop harmonies to swinging vocal music, the trio transformed dozens of instrumental jazz classics into their own songs, taking scat solos and trading off licks and riffs in precisely the same fashion as their favorite improvising musicians.
Vocal arranger Dave Lambert wrote dense clusters of vocal lines for each voice that, while only distantly related, came together splendidly. Jon Hendricks wrote clever, witty lyrics to jazz standards like “Summertime,” “Moanin’,” and “Twisted,” and Annie Ross proved to be one of the strongest, most dexterous female voices in the history of jazz vocals. Together Lambert, Hendricks & Ross paved the way for vocal groups like Manhattan Transfer while earning respect from vocalists and jazz musicians alike.