After The Rain is the third album from pianist/guitarist/composer Neil Tatar and is his second album recorded at Imaginary Road Studios. On his new recording, Neil Tatar takes his fans on a smoother, gentler music journey, while maintaining his knack for crafting accessible, memorable, and engaging melodies.
Co-produced by Tatar, GRAMMY Award Winner Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton, the ten tracks include original piano and guitar solos as well as ensemble pieces that feature the talents of several of the stellar musicians who often accompany artists who record at Imaginary Road.
.Neil Tatar chose to return to record this stellar new album, to Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont and helmed by the near-legendary production team of Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton. Featuring guest appearances by folks like Charlie Bisharat (violin), Jill Haley (English horn), Jeff Oster (flugelhorn), and Eugene Friesen (cello), After The Rain reveals a more contemplative aspect of Tatar’s musical persona. Suffused with his characteristic tunefulness and meticulous attention to detail, the guitarist/pianist has another hit on his hands.
Not many artists release three albums in quick succession and hit all of them out of the park the way pianist/ guitarist Neil Tatar has done. Both of Tatar’s previous albums reached the #1 position on the ZMR Top 100 Global Radio Airplay charts and Tatar received ZMR’s “Best New Artist” award for 2015.
Even with his long tenure performing and composing prior to this new phase of crafting contemporary instrumental music, the critical acclaim afforded his first two releases is extraordinary. After The Rain will almost certainly continue the praise from critics and listeners alike.
We would certainly expect After The Rain to do just as well and will likely bring Tatar additional awards. The music is gentle, melodic and accessible enough for casual listening, but is also complex enough to stand up to many listens with full attention, revealing nuances and subtleties each time. Warm, soothing and relaxing, It’s sure this will be a go-to album for many people after a stressful day, to accompany an intimate dinner, or to enhance the beauty of a scenic drive.
After The Rain is not a severe departure from Neil Tatar’s last release, Learning To Fly, but it is markedly more subdued and low-key, which is obviously the artist's aim since the album's subtitle is Peaceful, Reflective Instrumental Music. Where Learning To Fly emphasized a jazz-influenced approach and featured a pleasant dose of energy and cheerfulness, After The Rain aims (and hits) a slower, gentler tempo and a more introspective mood
However, Neil Tatar hasn't abandoned his jazz history completely, as can be heard on the subtly saucy "Sunsets" with a special nod to Premik Russell Tubbs' soprano sax playing as well as Jeff Haynes snazzy percussion accompaniment. Likewise, the album closing "Sidewalk Jam" injects just the right amount of jazz influences to end the CD on an upbeat mood and a moderately up-tempo pace.
As Will Ackerman states in the liner notes, “There aren't many musicians who are as capable of composing and performing on guitar and piano with equal skill.” We couldn't agree more except to emphasize something else. Neil Tatar's talents are not just equal on both instruments, but those talents are upper register talents. Neil Tatar's artistry puts him with the best in the genre for both guitar and piano.
Jonathan Widran of Music Connection writes, “While many influential artists are renowned for their prowess on a single instrument, Neil Tatar stands out with new works that draw from his compositional brilliance on both piano and acoustic guitar on After The Rain. It’s a refreshing, unique and accessible collection that further establishes Tatar as a groundbreaking artist in the genre.”
After The Rain is a moving collection of original compositions, contemporary ensemble recordings showcasing Neil Tatar’s dual talents on both piano and acoustic guitar, inviting listeners on an introspective musical journey. In listening, one senses that this may be Tatar’s most personal musical effort yet, and one in which his Tai Chi background and performance gel into a heart-based musical meditation. After The Rain is an album sure to please Neil Tatar’s established fans and bring him a lot more new ones! It’s a highly recommended album, just wonderful!