Ayelet Rose Gottlieb | Mayim Rabim

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World: Middle East Contemporary Jazz: Jazz Vocals Moods: Type: Experimental
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Mayim Rabim

by Ayelet Rose Gottlieb

"The elegance in this music is juxtaposed against the rawness of its sensuality. In short Mayim Rabim is a small wonder, a beautiful gem" www.Billboard.com
Genre: World: Middle East Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Tapuah (apple)
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6:33 $0.99
2. Haree'nee, Hashmee'eenee (show Me)
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4:36 $0.99
3. Al Mishkavi (as I Lay)
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3:58 $0.99
4. Min Ha'midbar (from the Desert)
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1:58 $0.99
5. Libavtini (captivated My Heart)
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6:28 $0.99
6. Pithi Li (open Up)
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4:01 $0.99
7. Patahti (i Opened)
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3:13 $0.99
8. Ana Halah (where Did He Go)
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1:50 $0.99
9. Ma Yafit (how Beautiful)
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4:19 $0.99
10. Mayim Rabim (great Waters)
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7:28 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
With her dazzling free improvisational style, brilliant compositional facility, global music palette and her ability to sing in her native Hebrew, in English and with no words at all, Ayelet Rose Gottlieb is unlike anyone you’ve heard before. Only 27, Ayelet has a level of musical sophistication, daring and curiosity that enables her to seamlessly meld her many influences including Ornette Coleman, Laurie Anderson, Egyptian chanteuse Oum Koulthm, Eastern European melodies and Middle Eastern scales all in a breathtaking improvisational approach.


MAYIM RABIM is based on the Song of Songs, ancient Hebrew erotica from King Solomon that is found in the Bible. MAYIM RABIM evolved out of her Song of Songs-based composition, “Al Mishkavi (As I Lay),” which was featured on her first CD, Internal-External, selected by ALL ABOUT JAZZ-NY as the BEST DEBUT OF 2004. She composed the song cycle to 10 segments of the text and presents it in its original Hebrew. In Song of Songs, Ayelet found an incredible work of poetry about love, a human sentiment that surely incorporates the full color range of emotions.


Ayelet Rose Gottlieb- Voice, Compositions
Michael Gottlieb- Voice
Deanna Neil and Michal Cohen- Background Vocals
Michael Winograd- Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
Anat Fort- Piano
Rufus Cappadocia- Five String Cello
Take Toriyama- Drums and Percussion

Special Guest- Galeet Dardashti- Persian Trope


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Gottlieb possesses a powerful voice... soaring over the beautifully voiced choru
“Mayim Rabim” (which translates into “Great Water”) features five vocalists, cello, clarinet, piano and drums. Ms. Gottlieb, solo voice and leader, based her song cycle on a biblical source: “Song of Songs,” an ancient collection of beautiful, erotic poetry. There are hints of modern jazz, with the use of quarter-tones and improvisation pervading the basic Israeli sounds of most tracks.

The stunning Gottlieb possesses a powerful voice, using it with authority, soaring over the beautifully voiced chorus of four. Proving that a soft voice can be just as effective, one of the highlights of the album, ironically, comes from the mellifluous solo voice of Ayelet’s brother, Michael Gottlieb who croons “Min Ha’midbar” over the tight clusters of the choir as cellist Rufus Cappadoccia weaves mournful obligati. Another highlight finds Ayelet negotiating the tricky intervals of “Patahti,” a cappella, until pianist Anat Fort enters, comping bitonally. “Tapuah” elicits some rhythmical heavy breathing, which is used correctly, considering the suggestive words from “Song of Solomon.” The appogiatura-filled, a cappella intro by Ayelet on the title track leads to a passionate section of 3-against-4 highlighted not only by Ms. Gottlieb, but by clarinetist Michael Winograd wailing (not in the swinging sense, but Klezmer-like) over the entire ensemble that sounds as if there can be a genre considered “kosher blues.”

-Harvey Siders

All About Jazz

powerfully straddles jazz, cantorial music and the avant garde
Mayim Rabim is replete with compositions that are able to stand on their own as superb improvisational vehicles for a fine eclectic group of musicians—Israeli-born vocalist Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, pianist Anat Fort, clarinetist Michael Winograd (whose development into a world class klezmer-jazz artist continues to impress), drummer Take Toriyama, cellist Rufus Cappadocia, and four additional vocalists—to deliver eleven sensual pieces. Lyrically, these works draw on material from the Bible’s most erotic literature, Shir Hashirim, or Song of Songs, each song being a celebration of love with an emphasis on its passion.

Like love itself, many emotions weave their way through these pieces. An initial wonderment turns to exhilaration, as beautifully stated on “Libavtini (Captivated my heart),” where the clarinet joyously sings above a vocal chorus. Other emotional moments include the frank percussive sensuality of “Pithi Li (Open Up),” the stark heartache portrayed by Gottlieb’s textural vocals and Fort’s piano on “Patahti (I Opened),” and love’s all-consuming enormity expressed by “Mayim Rabim (Great Waters).”

Singing primarily in Hebrew, Gottlieb both soars vocally and uses her voice as equal instrumental partner. She's most impressive, however, with her ability to convey a line with a devotion and phrasing that powerfully straddles jazz, cantorial music and the avant garde. Her brother Michael contributes the perfect male vocal balance on selected cuts, the Persian trope chanting of Galeet Dardashti beautifully blends with the overall erotic exotica feel, and background vocalists Deanna Neil and Michael Cohen add to the powerful breadth of the sound. When viewed holistically, Mayim Rabim succeeds both musically and conceptually. One of this year’s finest vocal releases. By Elliott Simon