New York based composers and performers Brad Stoller and Lesley Stoller are musician brothers who have played together for decades. Through the many incarnations of collaborations they have written many songs but it was not until 2015 that The Stollers officially made a record of their own with Stationary Sun. This album includes quality, slightly eccentric songs which are thoroughly enjoyable throughout with beautiful instrumentation portrayed in a folk-influenced, Americana flavor.
An early influence on the Stoller brothers was a pre-international-fame Simon and Garfunkel concert they attended at a small college gym when there were just kids. Through the sixites, the Stollers were lucky enough to see The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, and many other rock and jazz artists perform live. All of these artists directly influenced their own musical approach. Their first performing band was called The Wizard’s Hound, a group which regularly performed in New York City’s Greenwich Village as well as locations in upstate New York such as the famed artist community, Woodstock. The Wizard’s Hound broke up in 1980 and the Stollers’ performances became sparse in the years that followed.
The beginnings of this incarnation of The Stollers were monthly performances at Parkside Lounge on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in a five-piece group which included Geoff Wright on bass, drummer Joe Bonadio and Sly Scott on tenor sax and flute. The material from these Parkside sets was then brought to the studio with co-producer Don Wood for a meticulously produced independent album, which enlisted a plethora of New York musicians and vocalists.
|Stationary Sun by The Stollers|
|Released: November 1, 2015
Produced by: Don Wood & The Stollers
|Track Listing||Primary Musicians|
|Into the Brand New Day
Only a Penny
Open Your Eyes
You Can Come Home (With Me)
Between the Sun and the Moon
Food in the Morning Blues
Without Your Love
Song for Ann
The Two Julians
Piano, Keyboards, Harmonica, Percussion, Vocals
Guitars, Mandolin, Vocals
Acoustic, Pedal Steel, Vocals
Stationary Sun commences with “Into the Brand New Day”, written by Leslie Stoller, featuring a carnival of musical elements above consistent, acoustic strumming. Brad Stoller’s “Only a Penny” follows with a Phish-like vibe with a good country-laden piano throughout along with refined vocals. The picked acoustic of “Open Your Eyes” is complemented with some slight slide guitar by Brad and a nice harmonized chorus of backing vocals. “Lorendana” follows with a slightly Latin feel, some laid back guitar interludes and steady, and interesting odd-measured drums by Bonadio.
Perhaps the most cohesive and pleasant pop song on the album, Leslie’s “You Can Come Home With Me” is a steady ballad which fuses blues and country influences and is topped by a great lead electric guitar. In contrast, the rollicking “Culture War” is upbeat and forward and reaches even further with harder rock and even punk musical influences. Returning to form, “Between the Sun and Moon” is pure, finger-picked acoustic folk with a fine vocal melody and a subtle orchestral of fine instrumental voices.
The later part of the album continues it’s musical diversity and fine song craft. The bluesy “Food In the Morning Blues” is followed by the pop-oriented “Without Your Love”, which features surprising seventies-style elements and slight effects on the vocals and guitars. “Song for Ann” is a quirky and corny piano track which still manages to incorporate a healthy share of pleasant music and melody. The interesting, storytelling “The Two Julians” features more odd music and beats and acts as the album’s final crescendo before it eases out with Leslie Stoller’s sad solo piano piece “Water Wheel”.
The Stollers found the experience of making Stationary Sun so rewarding that there are plans for a second, follow-up album in the near future as well as many more live performances.
The Stollers online