Stirrup | Hungry Brain | Jazz | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Sun., May 26, 10 p.m. 2013
Price: $7 suggested donation
This scrappy instrumental trio was born in 2009 as the rhythm section of the Horse’s Ha, the elegant folk-rock group fronted by Janet Bean and Jim Elkington. As Stirrup, though, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, bassist Nick Macri, and drummer Charles Rumback have a sound of their own. On their debut album, Sewn (482 Music), hypnotic, unfussily pretty melodies unfold, roil, and mutate over churning ostinatos and shuffling, shape-shifting beats; everyone contributes at least one tune, though Lonberg-Holm wrote the majority. He plays tenor guitar as well as effects-smeared cello, and unsurprisingly he’s the focal point; his extended, lyrical solos hit with the power of psych-rock guitar and tickle the ear with microtonal glissandos a la Arabic or Indian music. Macri generally holds down the songs’ structures, taking only the occasional motific solo, and Rumback toys with the rhythms, teasing out swing patterns, explosive rolls, and skittery flourishes. Stirrup’s easygoing melodic development and loose interactivity obviously matter more to these guys than questions of technique or genre—though there’s a lot to swallow in this music, it all goes down like honey. —Peter Margasak



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