Nelda Swiggett Stringtet | Blue-Eyed Painted Lady

OA2 Records (2014)

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

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


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

production info

Produced by Nelda Swiggett 
Recorded March 10 & 11, 2013, by David Lange at David Lange Studios, Edgewood, WA
Mixed by David Lange
Mastered by Ross Nyberg at Nyberg Mastering, Issaquah, WA
Cover art painted by Sue Christiansen (Nelda’s mother)
All other photos by Steve Korn
Design & layout by John Bishop