Blues & Roots

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Blues & Roots
Bluroots mingus.jpg
Studio album by Charles Mingus
Released March/April 1960[1]
Recorded 4 February 1959, Atlantic Studios, New York City
Genre Hard-bop, post-bop
Length 38:49
Label Atlantic
SD 1305
Producer Nesuhi Ertegün
Charles Mingus chronology
Jazz Portraits: Mingus in Wonderland
(1959)Jazz Portraits: Mingus in Wonderland1959
Blues & Roots
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[2]
Q Magazine 4/5 stars
Down Beat 4/5 stars

Blues & Roots is an album by Charles Mingus, recorded in 1959 and released in 1960. It has been reissued twice as a CD, first by Atlantic Records, and then again by Rhino Entertainment in 1998.

Mingus explained the birth of this record in the album's liner notes:

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.


  • Q magazine (7/93, p. 110) - 4 Stars - Excellent - " 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..."
  • Down Beat (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.



  1. ^ 50th Anniversary edition booklet says April, while the liner notes of the 2002 CD, March
  2. ^ Huey, Steve (2011). "Blues & Roots - Charles Mingus | AllMusic". Retrieved 13 August 2011. 


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