Alison Rayner – double bass
Buster Birch – drums & perc
Deirdre Cartwright – guitar
Diane McLoughlin – saxophones
Steve Lodder – piano
ARQ’s profile has risen dramatically over the past five years with 2018 their best year so far – UK festivals and club dates, a successful tour of Germany in September – and now the winners of ‘Best Ensemble of the Year’ in the prestigious 2018 All-Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Alison is also nominated in ‘Best Double Bass’ category in the 2018 British Jazz Awards. They are now previewing new music from their third album, due for release 2019.
Described by The Guardian as ‘spirited, eloquent and graceful’ and by The Observer as ‘a beautifully integrated band’, their music is ‘inventive, vibrantly colourful and unfailingly melodic, possessed of a strong sense of narrative and cinematic quality, frequently inspired by personal experiences’ (the jazzman.com). Their combination of richly nuanced compositions with folk-infused grooves, skilful musicianship and a love of improvisation, creates a compelling and coherent whole.
On stage, ARQ are known for vibrant, communicative performances. Individual track records of the group include work with international artists such as Carla Bley, Andy Sheppard, George Russell, John Harle, The Guest Stars, Marjorie Whylie, Sharon Freeman, Jayne Cortez, Tal Farlow and BBC TV’s Rockschool series, broadcasted in both the UK and USA.
Inspired by real-world ideas, people and situations but infused with the kind of heady imagination that transforms their resonances into a series of vivacious musical adventures’ ***** BBC Music Magazine
‘Unified musical dexterity, not a note wasted and with sound as story — clear and undisguised, deeply affecting and unashamedly open – ’ The Morning Star
‘A gorgeous album synthesising mood, melody and the interplay between musicians totally at home with each other.’ **** Jazzwise
‘A celebration of life itself‘ – LondonJazzNews