Three or Four Shades of Blues

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Three or Four Shades of Blues
Three or Four Shades of Blues.jpg
Studio album by Charles Mingus
Released 1977 (1977)
Recorded March 9, 10, and 29, 1977
Studio Atlantic Studios, New York; Record Plant, Los Angeles
Genre Jazz
Length 44:13
Label Atlantic
Producer Ilhan Mimaroglu
Charles Mingus chronology
Changes Two
(1975)Changes Two1975
Three or Four Shades of Blues
Cumbia & Jazz Fusion
(1978)Cumbia & Jazz Fusion1978

Three or Four Shades of Blues is a studio album by American jazz bassist and bandleader Charles Mingus. It was recorded in sessions held on March 9 and 11, 1977 at New York City's Atlantic Studios and March 29 at the Record Plant in Los Angeles.[1] The album features two new versions of Mingus' "standards" and three new compositions performed by large ensembles featuring saxophonists Ricky Ford, George Coleman, and Sonny Fortune, pianist Jimmy Rowles, guitarists Larry Coryell, Philip Catherine and John Scofield, bassists Ron Carter and George Mraz, trumpeter Jack Walrath, and drummer Dannie Richmond.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[2]
Q 3/5 stars[3]
Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide 3/5 stars[4]
The Village Voice A–[5]

In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau said the second side on Three or Four Shades of Blue was "the best composed bebop" he had heard in 1977, partly because Coryell and Fortune gave their most impressive performances in some time.[5] The New Yorker found the record "subtle and funny and full of Mingus's peculiar and unmistakable authority".[6] AllMusic's Stuart Kremsky was less enthusiastic in a retrospective review, writing that it was not Mingus's "best work, but not without merit". He felt the title track was one of his most successful attempts at longer compositions, even though he said the electric guitars were out of place.[2]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Charles Mingus.

Side one
No. Title Recording date Length
1. "Better Get Hit in Yo' Soul" March 9, 1977 4:35
2. "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" March 9, 1977 7:00
3. "Noddin Ya Head Blues" March 9, 1977 10:29
Side two
No. Title Recording date Length
4. "Three or Four Shades of Blues" March 29, 1977 12:03
5. "Nobody Knows" March 11, 1977 10:06



  1. ^ "Charles Mingus - Three or Four Shades of Blues CD Album". CD Universe. Retrieved August 7, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Kremsky, S. Allmusic Review accessed April 15, 2009.
  3. ^ Q. London: 110. July 1993. 
  4. ^ Swenson, J. (Editor) (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 141. ISBN 0-394-72643-X. 
  5. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (December 26, 1977). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved May 12, 2016. 
  6. ^ The New Yorker, Volume 53, Issues 46-52, p. 63.

External links[edit]