Ayelet Rose Gottlieb’s smoky voice sounds like it belongs in a speakeasy or on an old, dusty vinyl. And yet Gottlieb–an Israeli-born jazz vocalist and composer–is barely 30 years old. Her first album was a collection of standards by jazz greats like Ornette Coleman and Charles Mingus; her second was an ambitious adaptation of the Song of Songs.
Gottlieb’s jazz sextet is technically proficient, but they can be playful, too. Their music jumps from acrobatic be-bop to smooth jazz, occasionally sappy but always skilled. And it’s fun to listen to–the kind of music that makes you want to waltz around your living room.
Unlike its predecessors, Gottlieb’s newest record, last year’s “Upto Here | From Here,” is not a concept album. There’s no specific theme; it’s just a finely-crafted, soulful set of songs, from the opening whimsy of the Israeli-inspired “Pomegranate Man” (“he’s my antioxidant/his juices are so bittersweet”) to the prickly Hebrew growl of the final track, “Venezia.”