The Sisters Euclid are four men who have been making music since the 1990s. Their base is Toronto and proof positive of their popularity comes from the fact that they have been performing every Monday for the past twelve years at city's The Orbit Room. The music takes on several forms and guises, with a quirky twist of its own. Th group's sense of fun adds the icing without cooling the adventure. All of this comes together in a delightful cornucopia of sound and sensibility as the Sisters serve their particular elixir on Faith Cola.
The track that goes out on a limb (but doesn't swing from it) is the band's reworking of Charlie Parker's "Donna Lee," which shunts the standard into a whole new realm: that of French theatrics. It may seem frothy, but give the band credit for imagination. Julie Crochetiere sings the melody in waltz time, la-la-la-ing her way across the tune. Jason Jackson takes on the role of the Chevalier, his exchanges with Crochetiere coming in French. Denis Keldie adds to the atmosphere, his accordion beckoning a warm sunny day.
"Va Va Va Voom" turns out to be a biting blues, with Alex Dean (bass clarinet) and Kevin Breit (guitar) the protagonists. Dean torques his phrases, etching them deep and stretching them taut. Breit adds riffs to his lead, finding space to complete the dynamic thrust. It's quite a different tack from "Lowell," with its country tinge. Breit lays a gentle line but ferments it with some snapping runs, bending his strings and sending shafts of intensity flying. Rob Gusevs adds a blues tinge on the organ, with notes that are thick and rich, but he never lets that eclipse the grain of the song. The understanding between the band is neat, with the rhythm section urging Breit and Gusevs on, helping their ideas germinate.
"Faith Cola" is a funky, energetic romp. Breit kicks it out with Gary Taylor (drums) adding sparkling rhythm and Ian de Souza (bass) firming up the base. Breit rocks with abandon, and his improvisations are a heady whirl of ripe ideas.
There is plenty to satisfy here as The Sisters Euclid turn on the heat and come up with delectable fare.
Faith Cola; Big Al; Donna Lee; Perry Garcia; Years and Years of Espionage Under Her Belt; Sunday Best; Tongue; Four Shows Nightly; Va Va Va Voom; This Ain't No Ferlin Husky; Lowell.
Kevin Breit: guitars; Ian de D'Souza: bass; Rob Gusevs: keyboards; Gary Taylor: drums; Special additives: Jane Bunnett: flute (5); Matt Brubeck: cello (3, 8); Alex Dean: bass clarinet (9); Denis Keldie: accordion (3); Perry White: tenor sax (4); Nic Murray: samples (7); Julie Crochetiere: vocals (3); Jason Jackson: voice (3).