Blues & Roots

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Blues & Roots
Bluroots mingus.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 1960[1]
Recorded4 February 1959, Atlantic Studios, New York City
GenreHard bop
Length38:49
LabelAtlantic
SD 1305
ProducerNesuhi Ertegun
Charles Mingus chronology
Mingus Ah Um
(1959)
Blues & Roots
(1960)
Mingus Dynasty
(1960)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic5/5 stars[2]
Q Magazine4/5 stars
DownBeat4/5 stars
The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings3.5/4 stars[3]

Blues & Roots is an album by American jazz double bassist Charles Mingus, recorded in 1959 and originally released on the Atlantic label in 1960. It has since been reissued on CD by both Atlantic and Rhino.

Inspiration[edit]

Mingus explained the origins of this record in the album's liner notes:[4]

This record is unusual— it presents only one part of my musical world, the blues. A year ago, Nesuhi Ertegün suggested that I record an entire blues album in the style of "Haitian Fight Song" (in Atlantic LP 1260), because some people, particularly critics, were saying I didn't swing enough. He wanted to give them a barrage of soul music: churchy, blues, swinging, earthy. I thought it over. I was born swinging and clapped my hands in church as a little boy, but I've grown up and I like to do things other than just swing. But blues can do more than just swing. So I agreed.

— Charles Mingus

Reception[edit]

  • Q Magazine (7/93, p. 110) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...at his best he could drive his fellow musicians onwards and upwards with big bass playing and hoarse exhortations. Blues & Roots contains six servings of this brilliance..."
  • DownBeat (1960) - 4 Stars - Very Good - "...vital and important music...[Mingus] is outstanding in his solo work...this is something worth careful and thorough listening..."

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting" – 5:39
  2. "Cryin' Blues" – 4:58
  3. "Moanin'" – 8:01
  4. "Tensions" – 6:27
  5. "My Jelly Roll Soul" – 6:47
  6. "E's Flat Ah's Flat Too" – 6:37


The 1998 Rhino CD reissue included these additional tracks:

  1. "Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting" – 6:59 – alternate take
  2. "Tensions" – 5:18 – alternate take
  3. "My Jelly Roll Soul" – 11:25 – alternate take
  4. "E's Flat Ah's Flat Too" – 6:47 – alternate take

All tracks composed by Charles Mingus. Recorded February 4, 1959 at Atlantic Studios in New York City.

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Reviews and Ratings of New Albums - Billboard Magazine". 21 March 1960. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  2. ^ Huey, Steve (2011). "Blues & Roots - Charles Mingus | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  3. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 1002. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0.
  4. ^ "Blues & Roots". aln2.albumlinernotes. Retrieved 2021-02-08.

Sources[edit]

  • Sleeve notes to Atlantic Records CD reissue of Blues & Roots (Atlantic SD-1305-2)