From the album "A Man Can't Ride on One" by Stirrup
"Onstage, Stirrup have always multiplied the energy of their studio recordings, so it seems fitting that the long-running instrumental trio would get around to releasing a live effort. Tonight’s concert celebrates A Man Can’t Ride on One (Whistler), on which cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm puts his effects pedals through a workout to produce a sometimes lush, sometimes strident sound that celebrates churning melody. Maybe it sounds cliched, but the way he manipulates pulsating long tones, descending fillips, and brusque asides reminds me of the way Jimi Hendrix sculpted tuneful wonders from raw feedback. The group is propelled by bassist Nick Macri and drummer Charles Rumback, who embroider brisk rhythms with endless displacements and sideways accents. On three of the album’s pieces the trio are joined by muscular Milwaukee trumpeter Russ Johnson, who pushes the vibe more toward jazz, albeit with a wonderfully thick and viscous foundation—a number like “Jittery,” for instance, quotes from Fats Waller’s “Jitterbug Waltz.” " —Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader
Stirrup is Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello, tenor guitar), Nick Macri (bass), and Charles Rumback (drums). Formed in Chicago in 2009, the trio is a true collective with all three musicians writing and arranging with an emphasis on a unique, genre defiant group sound. Exploratory, deep bass ostinatos, moody harmonies, strings shape-shifting from lyrical to noise, extended structures, and a dynamic rhythmic pulse are all jumping off points for the group with a wide range influences as varied as the list of bands and musicians Stirrup’s members have worked with including Ken Vandermark, Anthony Braxton, Laetitia Sadier (of Stereolab), Wilco, Via Tania, Mark Eitzel, Nina Nastasia, Hector Zazou, Jeremy Enigk, L’Altra, Boxhead Ensemble and Peter Brötzmann.
Stirrup’s debut album on 482 Records, Sewn, was met to critical acclaim upon release receiving favorable reviews in DownBeat, All About Jazz, TimeOut Chicago, Dusted, The Chicago Reader and more earning the band some invitations to notable festivals including the 35th International Jazzfestival Saalfelden 2014 in Austria and Over the Pavement: A Festival of Art Music in Detroit.
Stirrup’s second album A Man Can't Ride On One, is a live recording from the band’s residency at the venerable Chicago venue and gallery, The Whistler. The title is a reference to an old saying when offered a second drink as well as a response to Joe McPhee’s call of "A bird can't fly on one wing”. Half the tracks feature jazz trumpet great Russ Johnson as a special guest. The dynamic performance was recorded by Alex Inglizian and mixed at Experimental Sound Studio by Alex and Fred.