Yonatan Gat 's new album American Quartet is a reimagining of Antonín Dvořák’s classic chamber piece "String Quartet No 12," which the Czech composer wrote while living in the United States in the 1890s. For it, Gat worked with Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier, Mdou Moctar bassist Mikey Coltun, and organist Curt Sydnor. “Since the first time I heard the American Quartet it sounded like rock’n’roll melodies," says Gat, who used to lead Israeli band Monotonix. "So on this record we took a stab at performing the 19th century string quartet live from start to finish on electric guitar, bass, organ and drums; adding some improvisation and vibe, but following the melodies and the harmonies quite truthfully. It might be ambitious but it’s also pretty thrashed out." You can listen below.
While Dvořák would seem the main inspiration for a project like this, Yonatan brought few other influences to American Quartet, including Alice Coltrane, St Petersburg Quartet, Serge Gainsbourg, Jaimie Branch and more. His commentary makes for a wonderful companion to the album and you can read that below.