Blow the Fuse presents ARQ

Album Launch

Event Has Passed

Last Show: Wednesday 26 th February 2020

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

ARQ return to the club for the London launch of their 3rd album ‘Short Stories’. ARQ combine richly nuanced compositions, rhythmic interplay and folk-infused melodies with skilful musicianship and a love of improvisation. ARQ play 'songs without words' and are lauded for their vibrant, communicative performances. Winner of ‘Ensemble of the Year’ at the 2018 Parliamentary Jazz Awards and shortlisted for ‘Best Small Group’ at the 2018 British Jazz Awards, ARQ release their third album Short Stories October 2019 on Blow The Fuse Records. 

Read more ...

"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

ARQ release Short Stories – their 3rd album – in October 2019. ‘ARQ’ are a renowned and widely celebrated group with decades of experience at the forefront of the international jazz scene. Their long list of accolades include winning ‘Ensemble Of The Year’ award at the prestigious 2018 Parliamentary Jazz Awards and the People’s Vote for ‘Best Small Group’ at the 2018 British Jazz Awards. Now they return with a brand new album and an extensive series of UK live dates.

ARQ’s music combines richly nuanced compositions, rhythmic interplay and folktinged melodies. Along with their love of improvisation, this creates a compelling and coherent whole, creating a strong sense of narrative and cinematic quality. ARQ are known for their vibrant, communicative performances, so remaining accessible and appealing to those who appreciate a range of genres.

The new album Short Stories is available in CD, digital and vinyl formats, released on Blow the Fuse Records and distributed by Proper Music.

As 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.’

As the co-founder of artist development partnership ‘Blow The Fuse’, Rayner has promoted jazz events and touring, also producing records 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.

Rayner has played on around 30 albums and performed with artists such as American guitar legend Tal Farlow, New York jazz poet Jayne Cortez and UK players such as Jean Toussaint, Ian Shaw and John Etheridge.

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. Short Stories is an imaginative and accomplished body of work, destined to be enjoyed by jazz and discerning music lovers alike.

Band Lineup

Alison Rayner (double Bass)

Diane McLoughlin (saxophones)

Deirdre Cartwright (guitar)

Steve Lodder (piano)

Buster Birch (drums / percussion)