Blues & Roots

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Blues & Roots
Bluroots mingus.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 1960[1]
Recorded4 February 1959
StudioAtlantic 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
AllMusic[2]
DownBeat
The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings[3]
Q Magazine

Blues & Roots is an album by Charles Mingus, recorded in 1959 and released on the Atlantic label in 1960. It has 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)