Bass player and composer Alison Rayner has been playing jazz and other styles of music since the mid-70s. In the 80s she spent five years with the critically acclaimed Jazz/Latin group the Guest Stars, touring all the major international jazz venues and festivals, also recording three albums with them.
She currently leads ARQ, her contemporary jazz quintet, described as ‘a beautifully integrated band’ **** by Dave Gelly in the Observer, who have built a substantial and wide ranging audience over the past three years of touring. Their recently released second album ‘A Magic Life’ has already had extensive national and international radio play, with four star reviews in jazz and national press.
‘Spirited, eloquent and graceful’ *** John Fordham, the Guardian;
‘A gorgeous album, synthesising mood, melody and the interplay between musicians totally at home with each other.’ **** Andy Robson, Jazzwise.
Rayner also performs and records with, amongst others, acoustic world trio Koral Society, the Deirdre Cartwright Group, trumpeter Chris Hodgkins’ quartet and vocalists Carol Grimes and Zoe Lewis.
She has co-run Blow the Fuse Records & Blow the Fuse Jazz Club in London since 1989, performing with artists such as American jazz guitar legend Tal Farlow, New York jazz poet Jayne Cortez, Denardo Coleman, Ian Shaw and John Etheridge.
Rayner has had extensive music teaching experience, running music and performing arts courses at FE and HE level at, amongst others, City and Islington College, Weekend Arts College, Rose Bruford College and Goldsmiths College. She has taught at workshops in the UK, across Europe and in Mexico.
She currently composes for and examines for Rockschool International Exam Board, teaches on the Original Jazz Summer School in Cardiff and is an endorsee for Picato Innovation double bass strings.
‘With her big warm acoustic sound, faultless time, tuning and taste and creative solo ability, she clearly belongs in the front rank of contemporary bassists.’