Donald Lambert

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Donald "The Lamb" Lambert (February 12, 1904[1] – May 8, 1962)[2] was an American jazz stride pianist born in Princeton, New Jersey, United States, perhaps best known for playing in Harlem night clubs throughout the 1920s.[2] Lambert was taught piano by his mother but never learned to read music.[1] With his particularly rapid left hand striding technique, he was a formidable opponent in cutting contests. On one occasion, Lambert challenged Art Tatum at a jazz concert where other famous players were present.

Lambert's discography is sparse: the only commercial recordings under his name were four titles made for RCA's Bluebird label in 1941,[3] in which he interpreted classical themes: Richard Wagner's Pilgrim's Chorus from Tannhäuser, "Anitra's Dance" by Edvard Grieg,[4] Gaetano Donizetti's Sextet from Lucia di Lammermoor, and Jules Massenet's Élégie. However, several compilations were released in the 1980s containing live recordings dating from 1959–62.[3] Lambert appeared at the 1960 Newport Jazz Festival, alongside Eubie Blake and Willie "The Lion" Smith and was said[by whom?] to have outplayed both of them.

His nicknames included the "Jersey Rocket", "The Lamb", "Muffin", and "The Lamb of God".[1]


  • RCA [France] 741.118/9 Harlem Stride Pianists 1960-1962[2] (included the four Bluebird sides from 1941)
  • IAJRC Donald Lambert: Meet the Lamb[5]
  • Pumpkin Harlem Stride Classics[5]


  1. ^ a b c Riccardo Scivales. "Donald Lambert's Three Handed Style" (PDF). Retrieved September 25, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 1424. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  3. ^ a b "Donald Lambert Songs, Albums, Reviews, Bio & More". AllMusic. Retrieved September 25, 2021.
  4. ^ "Donald Lambert | Stride Piano Transcriptions | BlueBlackJazz". Retrieved September 25, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Donald Lambert Albums and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved September 25, 2021.

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