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Review: The Alison Rayner Quintet at the Lichfield Blues and Jazz Festival

Double bassist and composer Alison Rayner led her impeccable band through a series of high-octane jazz numbers and delicate ballads when they appeared as part of the 2019 Lichfield Blues and Jazz Festival.

The Alison Rayner Quintet
The Alison Rayner Quintet

The quintet also featured keyboard player Steve Lodder, guitarist Deirdre Cartwright, drummer Buster Birch and saxophonist Diane McLoughlin.

Their set consisted of originals, that took in everything from hip-hop beats, scorching guitar and saxophones, intricate harmonies and adventurous sound creation, with looping pedals and bowed bass adding to the sonic mix.

Numbers such as Here and Now or Half a World Away melded jazz and world music together, while the three movements of Soliloquy had a symphonic sheen to its composition.

Steve Lodder’s Seen Around Corners was a showcase for his talents as a keyboard player, whilst Queer Bird was a joyous celebration of music.

Starting the second set, Walkabout was a piece that combined ethnic aboriginal sounds with atonal saxophone and minimalist guitar to great effect.

Buster Breaks a Beat was a hip-hop infused piece that gave a showcase for the drumming talents of Buster Birch, before the Celtic tinge to the softly delicate ballad A Braw Boy showed the full musical interest of this very talented ensemble.

The encore, Portrait of Jaco, dedicated to the groundbreaking, fretless bass player was music that went across boundaries and genres, giving all band members an opportunity to shine.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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