Experimental / Contemporary / Free Jazz / Jazz Rock / Noise / Rock / Surf

Taverne Tour, Day 1: Yonatan Gat, planet guitar

by Alain Brunet

Yonatan Gat is a living legend to his fervent fans, who turned out on Thursday to meet him at the Sala Rossa. An Israeli guitarist, composer, improviser and bandleader transplanted to New York, he is the guitarist’s embodiment of openness and extreme eclecticism, values we at PAN M 360 unreservedly support. Since his music can be found in the Middle East, Africa and the Americas, and since his quotations range from Dick Dale-style surf rock to the famous Brazilian samba theme, we’d like to talk to you about it.

Obviously, this authentic (and very likeable) guitar hero doesn’t claim to represent the whole planet, but his integrations reflect an immense openness to the whole world. Not only garage punk, but also free jazz, jazz rock, groove, noise, guitar virtuosity and excellent accompaniment – you name it! The last piece on the program lasted some fifteen minutes and took the form of a long jazz improvisation in rock mode, apparently simple and groovy forms within which pearls are constantly spotted. 

The story goes that his first garage band, Monotonix, was banned from almost every venue in Israel, forcing him into exile. Today, Jonathan Gat may not be a demigod in his own firmament, but his excellent reputation means that he can be heard in every small and medium-sized venue on this small planet. If what we heard at the Taverne Tour is anything to go by, it’s not about to stop.

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