Alison Rayner (bass, composer) has been playing jazz and other contemporary styles since the mid-70s. She spent five years in the 80s with critically acclaimed Latin-jazz group The Guest Stars, touring all major international jazz venues and festivals across seventeen countries and recording three albums.
She currently leads ARQ, widely celebrated from six years of extensive UK and European touring and critical acclaim for their first two albums ‘August’ (2014) and ‘A Magic Life’ (2016), receiving national and international radio play and four and five-star reviews in jazz and national press.
ARQ’s third album Short Stories (released Oct 2019 on Blow the Fuse Records) is now receiving extensive radio play and press acclaim, with one of the pieces receiving an Ivor Novello Award. The ‘Short Stories’ album and tour is supported by ACE and PRS Foundation Women Make Music.
Rayner also performs and records with, amongst others, guitarist Deirdre Cartwright, trumpeter Chris Hodgkins, vocalist Carol Grimes, Latin-jazz quartet Chico Chica and US-based singer-songwriter Zoe Lewis.
She has co-run Blow the Fuse, an artist-led partnership in London since 1989, running jazz club nights, promoting tours, larger scale events and producing records on Blow the Fuse Records. She has played on around 30 albums and performed with artists such as American guitar legend Tal Farlow, New York jazz poet Jayne Cortez, Denardo Coleman, Peter King and John Etheridge.
Rayner teaches on jazz summer schools in the UK and abroad; composes and examines for an international music examination board and is an endorsee for Picato Innovation double bass strings. She was nominated in ‘Best Double Bass’ category 2018 & 2019 British Jazz Awards.
‘…concise, fluent and eminently melodic statements – big toned, highly melodic bass’
‘Rayner’s late blooming into a composer of some stature is one of the most satisfying stories of British jazz in recent years.’ thejazzman.com
‘Purposeful, full-toned and melodic.’ The Observer
‘Playing bass with a big, beautiful bass sound that comes from the heart… characterized by individuality, spirit and a sense of freedom.’ Val Wilmer, author, As Serious as Your Life: The Story of the New Jazz
‘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.’ Digby Fairweather
‘Beneath it all Rayner is dark and sonorous, like a Haden or Weber, able to make a rounded single note underwrite the band’s soarings.’ Jazzwise