Following last year’s album, Black Banjo, and this spring’s inspired cover of Kid Cudi’s massive hip-hop hit, “Pursuit of Happiness,” Tray Wellington returns with “Moon in Motion 1,” an original instrumental that solidifies his reputation as not just a masterful banjo player, but as a composer—and as the leader of a band capable of making their own contributions to a unique sound.
From its opening passage, which places guitar and banjo arpeggios over a sustained bowed bass and fiddle chord, “Moon in Motion 1” reveals itself in consecutive sections that offer kaleidoscopic transformations of several rich themes. Departing from the conventions of bluegrass and newgrass instrumentals, the tune lands instead in the realm of blended composition and spontaneous improvisation that characterizes a kind of roots chamber music pioneered by artists such as Punch Brothers and Hawktail, abruptly shifting moods while combining and recombining elements in a carefully composed sequence. And while every member of the group — Wellington, bassist Katelynn Bohn, Josiah Nelson (who doubles on mandolin and fiddle) and guitarist Nick Weitzenfeld — shares in successive focal points, the emphasis is always on interplay, not conventionally focused solos, with ever-present trades, unisons and full group textures offering endless variations on memorable scraps of melody and chord patterns.
“I often equate music and nature as one in one,” says Wellington, “as music is a constant movement that is always progressing forward through time. With this idea in mind, I thought one thing that always moves around us like music is the moon. I thought what a better way to progress in my music than channeling this idea of continuous movement.”
"Moon In Motion 1" is streaming in Dolby Atmos spatial audio on Apple Music, TIDAL and Amazon Music. Dolby Atmos is a sound experience you can feel all around you. Familiar from its “surround sound” application in thousands of movie theaters” Dolby Atmos reveals “depth, clarity and details like never before.”
Listen to "Moon In Motion 1" HERE.