April 2005

The Sisters of Sheynville
April 16, 2005 The Free Times Café Toronto

Lenka Lichtenberg and Isabel Fryszberg
If they were French, they’d be the Sisters of Belleville. The Sisters of Sheynville (Prettytown) are Isabel Fryszberg and Lenka Lichtenberg, local ladies who have spent the past year lifting (by hand, to judge from their charts) the Yiddish swing harmonies of the Barry Sisters (Claire and Merna Bagelman) who recorded widely in the middle of the last century.

For their debut performance in Toronto, the Sheynville Sisters assembled a jazz band including on bass, Ashely Summers (who plays with saxophonist Tara Davidson), on keyboard — Fern Lindzon (who leads a trio that includes Ted Quinlan and Kieran Overs), and Katherine Moses on reeds. In this case, the ensemble would also have to include the audience who came pre-pared to love (and they showed it) the authentic (and it was) Yiddish repertoire, and to ignore those times the band was ‘off’.

What the ‘Sisters’ lacked in polish, they made up in spirit, schmaltz, in-humour (you really do have to be Jewish to get it) vocal harmonies and their scat. You don’t have to be Jewish to hear that their ‘chiribiri bim bom bom’ riffs really rocked. The Sisters of Sheynville will be at the Distillery Jazz Festival the weekend of May 20.

We welcome your comments and feedback
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Report and Photo by
• •
Stanley Fefferman
for The Live Music Report

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