Album lauch for ‘A Magic Life’, the new CD for bass player Alison Rayner’s quintet ARQ, released on 18 November.
‘A Magic Life’ is supported by the Arts Council’s Grants For The Arts scheme and follows the success of ARQ’s acclaimed debut album August in 2014 and subsequent national touring.
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 and improvisational invention.
‘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.’
‘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’ Sept 2016
‘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 May 2016
Alison Rayner bass
Steve Lodder piano
Deirdre Cartwright guitar
Diane McLoughlin saxophone
Buster Birch drums
£10 advance, £12 door