24th March ARQ_Group3_DSC_2734 (Jane C Reid)

8pm in the Clifford Room

Advance Tickets £10 (£5) On The Door Tickets £12 (£6)

** TICKETS FOR THIS SHOW ARE AVAILABLE FROM http://www.wegottickets.com/event/383112 **


Blow the Fuse Records presents

A Magic Life

 ‘Highly intelligible music, characterized by individuality, spirit and a sense of freedom.’
Val Wilmer, authorAs Serious As Your Life: the Story of the New Jazz’ Sept 2016

‘Purposeful, full-toned and melodic… a beautifully integrated band’
Dave Gelly, Sunday Observer Nov 2016

‘This is a particularly well-balanced ensemble. The writing is rich and varied and the arrangements combine brightness and colour with exactitude and precision.’
Ian Mann, thejazzman.com Nov 2016

Steve Lodder piano

Deirdre Cartwright guitar

Diane McLoughlin tenor, soprano saxophones

Alison Rayner bass

Buster Birch drums

Alison Rayner: ‘I was inspired to call the album A Magic Life because of two recent incidents. The loss of a friend last year, who wrote in her own epitaph about how magic her life had been; then a chance encounter with a young boy, who asked me “Is music stronger than magic?” I replied that to me, music is a merging of magic and logic. These events set me on a course of thinking about connections between memory, mortality, magic – and music.’

The music is bursting with melodic and harmonic references from jazz, classical and folk musics. Rayner cites both Charlie Haden and Eberhard Weber as influences – but there is always a strong sense of Rayner’s musical personality evident in the poignant folk-inspired melodies, rootsy grooves, Hendrix stoked guitar in Mayday and improvisational invention.

  1.  A Magic Life 05:25
  2.  Musicophilia 06:26
  3.  The Trunk Call 06:01
  4.  Mayday 03:55
  5.  New Day 08:43
  6.  Swanage Bay 07:07
  7. 7.  The OK Chorale 09:30
  8.  Friday’s Child 03:05

BTF1613CD Distributed by Proper Music

Recorded in Livingston Studio 1 London, Summer 2016 by Chris Lewis

Release Date 18 November 2016

In ARQ, Alison Rayner has gathered a group of musicians who sympathetically support her music. The group’s imaginative and assured playing are superbly suited to Rayner’s compositions and reflect a confidence inspired by working intensively together, touring their first album ‘August’.

ARQ continue their album promotion tour through to Spring 2017. Future tour dates:


A Magic Life reviews:

‘Playing bass with a big, beautiful bass sound that comes from the heart, Alison Rayner leads a team of intelligent, responsive musicians through these original compositions. Highly intelligible music, characterized by individuality, spirit and a sense of freedom.’   Val Wilmer, author, As Serious As Your Life: the Story of the New Jazz

‘Purposeful, full-toned and melodic – those are the qualities of Alison Rayner’s music, in her roles as both bass player and composer. Jazz today takes so many forms, and incorporates so many diverse influence, that it takes a strong musical voice, such as Rayner’s, to stand out clearly amid the surrounding din. She has a beautifully integrated band too. The whole thing has that loose feeling which is the mark of musicians who have been working together for some time. The bright, fibrous sound of Diane McLoughlin’s soprano saxophone is a particular delight, and the wild guitar and piano interplay between Deirdre Cartwright and Steve Lodder in Mayday is one of the set’s many highlights.’

Dave Gelly, Sunday Observer 20 November 2016


Ian Mann, thejazzman.com 3 November 2016 full review: http://www.thejazzmann.com/reviews/review/alison-rayner-quintet-a-magic-life/


Live reviews:

‘In a Jazz age with an abundance of technical excellence – and ARQ have it in great quantity – we look for something else as well. ARQ bring to the stage a musical bond that is expressed in such fun and joyful moments that it is a pleasure to be in the room with them. Jazz of the highest quality.’
Phil Rose, Birmingham Jazz

“A master-class in empathetic playing with superb solos and a rhythm section of the highest calibre. Don’t miss these virtuoso musicians when they come to town.’
Phil Webb, Restormel Arts, South Cornwall

The production of A Magic Life has been supported by the Arts Council’s Grants For The Arts scheme.


All press enquiries and interviews: info@blowthefuse.com

ARQ | Blow the Fuse | +44 (0)7973 799415 | www. blowthefuse.com