Blues & Roots

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Blues & Roots
Bluroots mingus.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch/April 1960[1]
Recorded4 February 1959, Atlantic Studios, New York City
GenreHard-bop, post-bop
SD 1305
ProducerNesuhi Ertegün
Charles Mingus chronology
Jazz Portraits: Mingus in Wonderland
Blues & Roots
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic5/5 stars[2]
Q Magazine4/5 stars
Down Beat4/5 stars

Blues & Roots is an album by Charles Mingus, recorded in 1959 and released in 1960. It has been reissued on CD, by Atlantic Records and Rhino.

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)