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Alison Rayner Quintet (ARQ), “Short Stories” UK Tour Dates, October and November 2021.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Bassist and composer Alison Rayner will lead her quintet on a series of UK dates in celebration of her most recent album "Short Stories". Press release attached.

We have received the following press release;

Alison Rayner Quintet (ARQ) Tour Dates

TOUR 2021


Alison Rayner’s Incendiary Quintet to tour the UK following the success of their new album ‘Short Stories’.

Fresh from releasing their third album ‘Short Stories’, ARQ – bass player Alison Rayner’s quintet return with a series of live dates throughout the UK in late 2021.

‘ARQ’ are a renowned and celebrated group with decades of experience at the forefront of the international jazz scene. Since releasing Short Stories last year (pre-pandemic), the album has received widespread critical acclaim, including a glowing 4* critique in The Observer newspaper and equally complimentary reviews by many other important jazz music resources including Jazzwise Magazine, London Jazz News and Jazz Journal. The album has also gained extensive air-time on multiple BBC Radio stations both nationally and regionally, as well as consistent support from Jazz FM.

In the midst of this positive attention, Alison Rayner was awarded a prestigious Ivor Novello Composers Award, (formerly the British Composer Awards), for a beautiful song on the new album entitled There is a Crack in Everything, written for her niece who cycled the hills and lochs of Scotland looking for a crack of light. She was also runner up in the category of UK double bass player in the 2019 British Jazz Awards.

Speaking about Short Stories, Alison Rayner says: “My music is allegorical and I write songs without words about experiences, places and feelings. Short Stories was inspired by the sudden losses of three young people within close family and friends. Their stories were too short but through my music I want to celebrate the joy they brought to our lives.”

A key highlight of the 2019 EFG London Jazz Festival was ARQ’s sold out concert at London’s Kings Place. Now the band will take their striking live show and unique music to venues throughout the UK. As the co-founder of artist development partnership ‘Blow The Fuse’, Rayner has promoted jazz events and tours, also producing music on Blow the Fuse Records. Blow the Fuse have played a crucial role in promoting women jazz musicians for over 30 years: their critically acclaimed series in recent years Tomorrow the Moon has providing many emerging women jazz artists with the support, space and opportunity to perform.

The new album Short Stories is available in CD, digital and vinyl formats, released on Blow the Fuse Records and distributed by Proper Music. ARQ have been awarded funding by both the Arts Council and the PRS Foundation’s Women Make Music Fund, both glowing endorsements and further testament to the quality and ability of the group. For more information and links to tour dates, please visit:

2021 Tour Dates:


20 Guildford Jazz

21 London, Lauderdale Jazz

27 Sheffield Lescar

28 Nottingham Bonington Theatre

29 Wakefield Jazz

30 Lincoln Jazzpac

31 Newcastle Globe



3 Pizza Express Jazz Club London

16 Southampton Jazz


Reviews for ARQ Short Stories:

Memories brought to life…for some reason bass-playing jazz composers (Charles Mingus and Charlie Haden, for instance) seem particularly good at conjuring scenes and atmospheres.
The Observer ★★★★

ARQ have come up with another impeccable album featuring warm, colourful, intelligent writing and some exceptional playing. It’s a recording that is likely to appeal a broad listening constituency. - The Jazz Mann ★★★★ ½

At times it is touched by callings deeper than tears. - Jazzwise ★★★

Another joyous set from ARQ that reflects on some of life’s sadder events and turns them into something altogether more optimistic, and in doing so reminds of the happiness and memories that people in our lives bring us.  - Jazz Views

A thing of beauty, an album that celebrates life rather than dwelling on losses that sparked three of its tracks. There is a tightness, a flow and a sense of ease here. The narrative is never lost and each piece tells a complete, yet connected tale. There is a sense of shared things, yet also a sharing with the listener, which makes it tangible and accessible. - Something Else Reviews

Five outstanding musicians and eight evocative compositions make for an enjoyable listening experience whether you opt for CD, digital or vinyl. Their latest album is as exciting as their two previous albums - maybe more so. - Bebop Spoken Here

ARQ created waves with their second album, A Magic Life, which announced an enthused creative leap forward for the group. This continues on the new double album which bubbles with upbeat virtuosity, sometimes hitting a Dave Brubeck feel but equally capable of ripping with impressive jazz-rock guitar. They are particularly good at settling to sedate ambiance then combusting to melodic solos. - The Arts Desk on Vinyl

She reveals a remarkable talent for absorbing grief and observing monumental vistas to re-express them as elegiac compositions. - London Jazz News

An album that draws on collective talent to create another individualistic success. - Jazz Journal

ARQ are: Alison Rayner (double Bass), Diane McLoughlin (saxophones), Deirdre Cartwright (guitar), Steve Lodder (piano), Buster Birch (drums / percussion).

Short Stories
Recorded by Chris Lewis at Livingston Studio 1, London. Mixed by Chris Lewis. Mastered by Peter Beckmann at TechnologyWorks. Produced by Alison Rayner & Deirdre Cartwright
Released on Blow the Fuse Records BTF1914. Distributed by Proper Music