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Neil Tatar | Learning to Fly

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New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Jazz: World Fusion Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Learning to Fly

by Neil Tatar

Contemporary instrumental music with an ambient and light jazz flair, featuring original compositions written on guitar and piano that are embellished by cello, violin, soprano and alto sax, alto flute, English horn, bass, percussion, voice and more.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Wait for Me
3:53 $0.99
2. Breeze in Blue
3:25 $0.99
3. Ode to My Mentors
6:14 $0.99
4. Missing You
5:12 $0.99
5. Twilight Dance
5:13 $0.99
6. Learning to Fly
4:54 $0.99
7. Morning Peace
5:22 $0.99
8. Summer Strut
4:39 $0.99
9. Falling for You
5:15 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Learning To Fly" is a collection of nine original compositions written by Neil Tatar, and recorded under the guidance of Will Ackerman, Grammy Award winning guitarist and producer, and founder of Windham Hill Records. The tracks include contributions from several world class instrumentalists, including: Neil Tatar, Guitar and Piano * Eugene Friesen, Cello * Premik Russell Tubbs, Soprano and alto sax, alto flute * Tony Levin, Bass * Jeff Haynes Percussion * Will Ackerman, Guitar * Noah Wilding, Vocals * Charlie Bisharat, Violin * Jill Haley, English Horn * and Michael Manring, Bass

The album was produced by Will Ackerman, Tom Eaton, and Neil Tatar and recorded at Will Ackerman's state of the art Imaginary Road Studios and exemplifies the world class quality of recording and sound engineering that has made Imaginary Road Studios legendary.

Neil Tatar is an experienced guitarist, pianist, and composer. A playful and expressive musician, he has a unique sound that is contemporary in style, primarily rooted in blues, rhythm and blues, light jazz, and World music. Neil has been exploring music improvisation for most of his life. He finds passion in life’s most profound moments, giving inspiration to musical sketches and stories that ultimately become the source for his compositions. These writings are based on life stories, reflections that come from memories that are told expressively through music. Neil’s wonderfully melodic phrasing and chording on piano and his expressive interpretations on guitar serve as his personal reflections of these life experiences.

Recently, Neil collaborated with Grammy Award winning cellist David Darling to write and record their highly acclaimed album “Where Did The Time Go”, a collection of original compositions that received stellar reviews and reached the #1 ranking worldwide on the ZMR Top 100 Radio Airplay chart. His current release, “Learning To Fly”, recorded at Imaginary Road Studios under the guidance of legendary producer and guitarist Will Ackerman, highlights Neil’s ability to communicate directly to the listener through his music.

In addition to writing and recording music, Neil has been a performer and teacher for more than 35 years. He also focuses creative energy on leading improvisational music workshops for a variety of groups, including adult mental health programs, camps for children with serious illnesses, assorted college groups, and regional arts councils As a facilitator, he creates a safe and supportive environment for participants, reflecting his humanistic approach to music improvisation along with his enthusiasm and creative energy. True to his dedication to improvisation, Neil’s workshops are playful and never the same. Participants have reported expanding their musical repertoire or happily becoming reacquainted with their musical selves.
A musician through and through, Neil is regularly humming a tune, drumming, playing funky guitar, composing on the piano or pulling something musical from his laptop.



to write a review

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Learning to Fly" is guitarist/pianist/composer Neil Tatar’s second album following his #1 ZMR charting "Where Did the Time Go" with cellist David Darling. "Learning to Fly" was recorded at Imaginary Road Studio in Vermont, produced by Will Ackerman, and mixed and mastered by Tom Eaton. Surrounded by Ackerman’s stellar group of musicians, Tatar’s nine original tracks are mostly peaceful, mostly acoustic ensemble pieces that reflect on the moments in life when we realize that change is upon us. Light jazz and ambient styles are very evident, but overall, this is simply beautiful music that should appeal to a very broad audience. Although this is only his second album, Neil Tatar has been a professional musician and teacher for more than thirty-five years. The biggest surprise for me was Tatar’s eloquent piano playing. I knew he was an outstanding guitarist, but he plays piano on five of the nine tracks and guitar on the other four.

"Learning to Fly" begins with “Wait for Me,” a tender and heartfelt piano piece enhanced with cello (Eugene Friesen), English horn (Jill Haley) and bass (Tony Levin). “Breeze in Blue” find Tatar with his guitar, making musical magic with Premik Russell Tubbs on sax, Tony Levin on electric bass, and Noah Wilding’s haunting vocals. A bit more rhythmic, this is smoooooth jazz at its most relaxed - gorgeous! “Ode to My Mentors” returns to piano with alto flute (Tubbs), cello, bass, and percussion (Jeff Haynes). At 6 1/4 minutes, it’s the longest track, and what a graceful beauty it is as it intertwines several themes into an emotionally powerful whole. “Missing You” begins as a soulful guitar solo, then a poignant duet with Charlie Bisharat and his violin, peaking as a quintet that includes guitar, violin, cello, bass and percussion and then reversing the order. I love this one! “Twilight Dance” has a jazzier feel, although still very sultry. The title track is a breathtaking piano and violin duet with Charlie Bisharat that is worth the price of admission by itself! The first half of the piece is a lovely piano solo and then Bisharat enters and takes it heavenward. Tatar returns on piano for the ethereal “Morning Peace” along with Haley, Friesen, and Wilding - the stillness of a new day captured in music. Will Ackerman joins the ensemble in the breezy “Summer Strut,” adding a second guitar to the sax, bass, percussion and wordless vocals. Ah, the lazy days of summer! “Falling For You” brings this excellent album to a close with a love long that is both tender and sweet.

"Learning to Fly" is a joy from the first note to the last and should bring Neil Tatar a much bigger audience. Very highly recommended!

Michael Diamond (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
Neil’s previous album release and collaboration with cellist David Darling, “Where Did The Time Go,” was excellent, but With “Learning To Fly,” however, Neil has taken his music and collaborative efforts to the next level entirely. For starters, Neil made the decision to record at the iconic studio of GRAMMY winning producer, guitarist, and Windham Hill Records founder, Will Ackerman. Also contributing his considerable professional expertise is producer, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist Tom Eaton. A number of Will’s A-list studio musicians are also featured.

Opening with a reflective pastoral piano piece called “Wait For Me,” Neil is joined by Paul Winter Consort member Eugene Friesen on cello, long-time Will Ackerman collaborator Jill Haley on English horn, and bassist extraordinaire Tony Levin, who performs with Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, and many others. While many associate Neil with the guitar, this lovely track illuminates another aspect of his musical spectrum. It’s not long, however, before the six-string sound of Neil’s acoustic guitar is heard on the laid back jazzy strains of “Breeze In Blue.” In addition to Tony Levin on bass, the track includes the airy ethereal wordless vocals of Noah Wilding and the soprano sax of Premik Russell Tubbs, who has performed with major league players such as Carlos Santana, John McLaughlin, Jean-Luc Ponty, Jackson Browne, and many more.

On “Missing You,” Neil not only plays on the strings of his acoustic guitar, but on the heartstrings of the listener as well, in this emotionally evocative composition that memorializes his profound feelings about his mother’s recent and unexpected passing. One of my favorite songs, and perhaps the most unique on the album, is the bouncy Latin jazz-tinged “Summer Strut,” which features the maestro Ackerman himself on guitar along with a full cast of accompanists. It’s a real toe tapping “feel-good” piece, and serves to reflect the range of Neil’s music, from deeply reflective to exuberant and energetic.

“Learning To Fly “certainly lives up to it’s title as it explores diverse musical terrain from a lofty perspective. Neil Tatar is an up and coming artist whose skills as a composer and multi-instrumentalist on piano and guitar provide a thoroughly satisfying musical experience, that will leave listeners eager to hear more in the future.

To read a full length review of this CD, as well as others, please visit: www.michaeldiamondmusic.com