Magical influences for music in Hemel

A musical quintet will perform jazz at the Old Town Hall's Cellar Club in Hemel Hempstead next week.

Thursday, 13th April 2017, 4:44 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:05 pm
Alison Rayner Quartet

Alison Rayner has gathered a group of musicians who sympathetically support her music. The group’s imaginative and assured playing are superbly suited to Rayner’s composition and reflect a confidence inspired from when they worked together intensively to tour their first album, August.

The quintet’s latest album, A Magic Life, is bursting with melodic and harmonic references from jazz, classical and folk music. Alison cites Charlie Haden and Eberhard Weber as influences, but there is always a strong sense of her own musical personality evident in the poignant folk inspired melodies, rootsy grooves, Hendrix stoked guitar and improvisational invention.

Alison said: “I was inspired to call the album A Magic Life because of two recent incidents. The loss of a friend last year, who wrote in her own epitaph about how magic her life had been; then a chance encounter with a young boy who asked me: ‘Is music stronger than magic?’ I replied that to me, music is a merging of magic and logic. These evens set me on a course of thinking about connections between memory, mortality and magic - and music.”

The Alison Rayner Quintet features Alison on double bass, Buster Birch on drums, Deirdre Cartwright on the guitar, Diane McLoughlin on saxophones and Steve Lodder on the piano.

The quintet will appear at the Cellar Club at 8pm on Thursday April 27.

Tickets cost £13, cocnesions £11, Dacorum Card £10.

Book online at or call into the box office in the High Street or phone 01442 228091 between noon and 5.30pm Monday to Friday.