Described by Billboard magazine as “An outstanding and imaginative Australian bassist and composer”, Swanton (b. 1960) has performed with many of the cornerstones of Australian music: The Benders, Clarion Fracture Zone, the Bernie McGann Trio, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Vince Jones, Alpha Centauri Ensemble, the Mighty Reapers, the Seymour Group, Tim Finn, Stephen Cummings, and Wendy Matthews. Lloyd has also performed a number of solo improvisation concerts, something rarely seen on the double bass. In 1991 he formed his own group, The catholics (winners of the 1995 Mo Award for Best Jazz Group). This highly-acclaimed group has released four albums, three of which have been nominated for ARIA Awards. All are produced by Swanton and feature predominantly his compositions. Three are released in the USA, and their second album, Simple, has been released in Germany, where it was recently nominated for the Deutsche Schallplattenkritik award.
Overseas exposure with numerous groups includes several visits each to the Montreux, Montreal and North Sea festivals, and many other performances throughout much of Europe, Asia, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Cuba, New Zealand and Russia.
International artists with whom he has performed throughout Australia include Dewey Redman, Nat Adderley, Clifford Jordan, Vincent Herring, Sting, Jimmy Witherspoon, Margie Evans, Sheila Jordan, Billy Harper, Barney Kessel, Andrew Hill, George Coleman Jr., John Hicks & Carlos Ward, Darrell Grant, and Gary Bartz.
Swanton appears on 60 albums, including several ARIA Award winners, and produced last year’s Award winner, by Bernie McGann. Over 60 of his compositions or co-compositions appear on record. He composed several film soundtracks, including “The Beat Manifesto”, which won the 1995 Australian Guild of Screen Composers Award for Best Short Film Soundtrack, as well as Best Achievement in Music Score at the Exposure International Short Film Festival, and three Australian Film Industry Awards.
Swanton’s two main projects, the world music oriented The catholics, and the minimalist improv experimenters, The Necks, are expressions of his two abiding interests: the music of other cultures and minimalism.