“Strasbourg / St. Denis”
RECORD LABEL:Mountain Home Music Company
LOCATION:Johnson City, Tennessee
For his third Mountain Home Music Company release, Tray Wellington returns to the jazz songbook that he first explored on his self-released 2020 EP, Uncaged Thoughts, with a cover of Charlie “Bird” Parker’s bebop classic, “Ornithology.” This time, the award-winning banjo player offers his unique take on a 21st century classic in the making in trumpeter Roy Hargrove’s popular “Strasbourg / St. Denis”—and though he’s young, Wellington sets the pace for a stellar group of musicians (guitarist Jon Stickley and his Trio bandmate Lyndsay Pruett on violin, mandolin player Wayne Benson and bassist Kevin Kehrberg) as they work their way through the tune’s irresistible theme before diving into a series of inspired improvisations. The result is a tribute to Hargrove’s inspiration that recalls the sound of Wellington’s jazz-leaning predecessors like Bela Fleck and Scott Vestal even as it displays a strong dose of his own creativity.
“As a longtime jazz fan,” Wellington notes, “I see Roy Hargrove as a staple, and a legend in the music. I knew from the first time I heard this song that I wanted to record it some day, and with this crew playing on the session, I knew this would be the perfect time to do it!”
KEY SELLING POINTS
- Tray has two earned 2x IBMA Awards in his young career, 2019's Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year & Momentum Band of the Year
- Wellington's solo career launches in 2021 with the Mountain Home Music Company label