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In the late 1950s, Charles Mingus had a career-defining burst of creativity. In 1959 alone, he made Blues & Roots, Mingus Ah Um, and Mingus Dynasty -- three classics stuffed with Mingus standards (indeed, much of the repertoire of today's Mingus Big Band). Mingus's writing always kept one foot in the swamp and one in the church, but that combination -- the stomp of the blues and the exultation of gospel music -- was rarely as blatant as in the six tunes that make up Blues & Roots, including "Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting," "Moanin'," "E's Flat Ah's Flat Too," and the bass-slapping tip of the hat to an earlier jazz giant, "My Jelly Roll Soul." Played by a nine-piece band of Mingus stalwarts (including Jimmy Knepper, Dannie Richmond, Booker Ervin, Pepper Adams and, for good measure, Jackie McLean), Mingus's well-titled blues album came at the start of a craze for soul-jazz. Jazz rarely gets more soulful than this.
Performance CreditsCharles Mingus Primary Artist,Bass,Group Member
Pepper Adams Baritone Saxophone,Group Member
Booker Ervin Tenor Saxophone,Group Member
Jimmy Knepper Trombone,Group Member
Horace Parlan Piano
Dannie Richmond Drums
Mal Waldron Piano
Willie Dennis Trombone,Group Member
Jackie McLean Alto Saxophone,Group Member
John Hardy Alto Saxophone,Group Member
Technical CreditsCharles Mingus Composer,Original Liner Notes
Tom Dowd Engineer
Nesuhi Ertegun Original Album Producer
Nat Hentoff Reissue Liner Notes
Lee Friedlander Cover Photo