Sound Clips

Nelda Swiggett – piano, voice, compositions
Julian Smedley – violin
Clif Swiggett – trombone, bongos
Chris Symer – bass
Adam Kessler – drums
Jill McGrath – poetry

2020 Moving Room Productions

Sound Clips

Gorgeous…a set of tunes with a warm electricity and a fluidity of motion that just carries the listener along….beautiful melodies…very beautiful recording. Highly Recommended.”
     – Wondering Sound Reviews

“Delightfully left of center…”
     – Midwest Record

“Swiggett has a unique touch…intensely appealing pianism…a voice with a depth similar to that of Abbey Lincoln…”
     – All About Jazz

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Gerard Marciano, Beautiful Swinging Chamber Jazz
“This is quite extraordinary…what a find. Chick Corea comes to mind; the group has a precise, melodic sound with a classically (and I mean classical) swinging sound that is just beautiful. This and Aaron Parks’ “Invisible Cinema” are the two best piano jazz recordings I have bought in some time. Between them you will have your hands full…Jessica Jennifer Williams comes to mind…we are in that territory. Ms. Swiggett sings on a few songs (the “humming” on “Three For All” is stunning) but that is not the strong point of this music, and I prefer her without the vocals. But if she needs to sing a few verses…go right ahead. When you have this kind of stunning talent and sound (beautifully recorded) you can do as you please. The viola and cello give it a chamber quality, but the group swings with a gorgeous, melodic, rich depth that is very fine indeed. The bass takes a lead for several bars over the trio on the title cut that must be heard. Never intrusive, but always drawing you in. Try this for background and you will put the paper down and close your eyes. This is what I always wanted Keith Jarrett to do. Now I don’t have to wait around.”

Dave Sumner, Wondering Sound Reviews
“Gorgeous jazz-with-strings recording by pianist & vocalist Swiggett, who offers a set of tunes with a warm electricity and a fluidity of motion that just carries the listener along. Along with her standing trio of drummer Byron Vannoy and bassist Chris Symer, Swiggett recruited a cellist and violist from the Seattle Symphony, and that pairing results in some beautiful melodies getting lofted up to a high plateau via the additional harmonic options. Swiggett’s vocal delivery is satisfyingly to-the-point, and behaves only as one ingredient, equal to all others in this very beautiful recording. Highly Recommended.”

Chris Spector, Midwest Record
“A jazzbo trio mixes it up with a couple of local (Seattle) classical luminaries for a rolling thunder of a set that smokes along mightily with elements of pop and progressive rock in its grooves as well as its jazz base. Delightfully left of center, this is a fearless set that pushes boundaries and keeps on going. Smart stuff for smart listeners that like music that really takes them places.

All About Jazz
“Swiggett has a unique touch and intensely appealing pianism, and a voice with a depth similar to that of Abbey Lincoln (there are other voices that come closer, but the earthiness is equivalent). Clever and fun listening.”

Lofton A Emenari, WHPK 88.5 FM, Chicago
“Under The Radar: 3 Recordings that merit considerable attention. Over the past year many recordings pass my desk, some good, some not so good. Here are 3 that did not gain appreciable wider recognition and acclaim in the mass market media yet are hall marked distinctively for speaking directly to our collective human condition. …  2. Nelda Swiggett-Blue Eyed Painted Lady- OA 2 …Piano trio with string duo. An intimate bluesy jazz filled coloratura …”

George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly
“Pianist/vocalist Nelda Swiggett leads a chamber jazz team of Chris Symer/b, Byron Vannoy/dr, Rachel Swerdlow/viola and Walter Gray/cello through some exciting, quirky and swinging originals. Tensile and dramatic pieces such as “Thanks To Solomon” or the boppish “Hewett’s Blues” have the leader using either lyrics or wordless vocals while the strings pick, pluck and bow to boppish grooves. Gentle brushes sashay on the samba’d title track while the strings deliver pizzicato rhythms, and gloriously gentle waves of strings coalesce with jazz chops by the trio on “Ruby Knows.” Swiggett’s voice is quite flexible, going in and out on “Rainy Days.” Imaginative sound and visions.”

All About Jazz
“… an intriguing and successful combining of nightclub jazz and concert stage classical. This is no more “Third Stream” than it is pure classical or jazz. We are so far beyond these characterizations that we have yet to give definition to such art.” full review

Earshot Jazz Magazine
“…a fine debut that showcases Swiggett’s voice as a composer…” full review

Nelda Swiggett – piano, vocal, compositions
Chris Symer – bass
Byron Vannoy – drums
Rachel Swerdlow – viola
Walter Gray – cello

2014 OA2 Records


Sound Clips

Nelda Swiggett – piano, vocal, compositions
Chris Symer – bass
Byron Vannoy – drums

2010 OA2 Records



“…a stunning project…held together by the highly original mind of Ms. Swiggett.”

     – JazzTimes

“…the sound is all Swiggett’s: refined and confident, open and inviting.”
     – All About Jazz

“Best Northwest Jazz CDs of 2010”
     – Jim Wilke, Jazz After Hours, NPR

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Earshot Plug: Nelda Swiggett Trio at Tula’s
“A few months ago, I had the good fortune of seeing this band in action. It was a true knockout performance; everyone on the bandstand brought her/his A-game and this mighty trio couldn’t have been tighter. It is easily one of the best performances I’ve seen this year.” full review

“… this third album by Swiggett, as a leader, is a stunning project, put together by three imaginative swingers — pianist Swiggett; bassist Chris Symer; and drummer Byron Vannoy — held together by the highly original mind of Ms. Swiggett.” full review

All About Jazz
“Nelda Swiggett summons the influence of the late Gene Harris … a bright palette, a sinewy execution and a powerful,assertive command. Swiggett’s atonal tendencies echo Monk and her percussive nature, Tyner. Taken as a whole, the sound is all Swiggett’s: refined and confident, open and inviting.”  full review

Earshot Jazz Magazine
“Clumps of notes. That’s how pianist Nelda Swiggett describes musical shapes that are the basis of her compositions. But don’t be misled by the word clump. The notes are not dissonant, grating or random. Her music is precise without being dry, clean without being dull, and light without being fluff. The sound is as clear, direct and crisp as the gaze of her piercing blue eyes. And behind those eyes teems a sharp mind that leaves plenty of air within and around those clumps.” full review

All Music Guide
“Swiggett’s playing throughout is a surprise — generally starting out calmly and melodically, but unveiling deeper layers of excitement and intrigue as the songs develop. There’s a lot to listen to here, and almost all of it is excellent.” full review

Dick Crockett, Bopndicks 10 picks, 88.7 FM
“Seattle based pianist Nelda Swiggett has a bright smooth swinging quality to her mainstream approach and a minimalist almost bare knuckles attitude. Her key strokes are bold and assertive, as if she knows exactly the direction of her music. And you feel it, directional-determined and cool. She has written all original compositions and three with lyrics. Her vocals are care free and warm, juxtaposed to her driving style on piano. She’s been compared to Monk somewhat and to the late Gene Harris, which seems more accurate. Nelda Swiggett’s new CD, “This Time” is a fresh new breeze out of the Northwest.”

Nelda Swiggett – piano, vocals, compositions (except for 3)
Brian Kent – saxes, composition (3)
Chuck Bergeron – basses
Steve Hill – drums
Jeff Busch, percussion (6,7)
Jim Sisko, trumpet (8)

1999 Moving Room Productions

“Best Northwest Jazz CDs of 1999”

        – Jim Wilke, Jazz After Hours, NPR

“Nelda Swiggett’s second recording as leader shows the Seattle-based pianist in a bright and creative light. Refreshing and somewhat (Thelonious) Monk-like, the leader’s piano artistry and original compositions urge her quartet to the creation of an exciting session.”  full review
      – All About Jazz 



1993 Moving Room Productions

roomtomove coverNelda Swiggett – piano, compositions, vocals (1,4)
Brad Smith – trumpet
Dean Mochizuki – saxes
Clif Swiggett – trombone
Rick Leppanen – electric bass, compositions
Chris Monroe – drumset
Special Guest – Tamara Wimer, vocals (1,7)

“Inspired arranging . . . infectious rhythms . . .”
     – Earshot Jazz Magazine

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