Charles Mingus Blues & Roots (Atlantic 75 Series) 180g 45rpm 2LP

Charles Mingus

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Michael Fremer Rated 9/10 Music, 9/10 Sound!

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180g 45rpm Double LP!
Mingus Taps Blues & Roots Sources for a Joyous Swinging Outing!
Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio from the Original Analog Tape!
Plated & Pressed at QRP and RTI!

Atlantic 75 Historic Reissue Series from Analogue Productions!

AllMusic marks Charles Mingus' Blues & Roots as a rejoinder to the critical carping that the virtuoso bass player and accomplished jazz pianist and bandleader and his evocative music "somehow didn't swing enough." For this album Mingus turned to the earthiest and earliest sources of black musical expression — blues, gospel, and old-time New Orleans jazz. The resulting album ranks arguably as Mingus' most joyously swinging outing.

Recorded in 1959 and released in 1960, Blues & Roots' birth was explained by Mingus 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."

Anyone who had heard "Haitian Fight Song" shouldn't have been surprised that such an album was well within Mingus' range. Mingus boosts the complexity of the music by assembling a nine-piece outfit and arranging multiple lines to be played simultaneously — somewhat akin to the Dixieland ensembles of old, but with an acutely modern flavor.

That modern flavor is reinforced and enhanced by the lush Analogue Productions reissue treatment that gives this new version more depth, richer sonic execution and acute audio clarity, particularly in the higher frequencies. Expert mastering from the original master tape by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio, and two 45 RPM flat-as-a-table 180-gram LP platters properly unveil the loose and free-swinging performance. The wider-spaced grooves promote better cartridge tracking and the silent black playing surface stays clear of the audio playback.

There's no question of Mingus' firm grounding in the basics on Blues & Roots, writes AllMusic, nor of his deeply felt affinity with them. Whether the music is explicitly gospel-based — like the groundbreaking classic "Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting" — or not, the whole album is performed with a churchy fervor that rips through both the exuberant swingers and the aching, mournful slow blues. Still, it's the blues that most prominently inform the feeling of the album, aside from the aforementioned "Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting" and the Jelly Roll Morton tribute "My Jelly Roll Soul."

The 75th Anniversary of Atlantic Records
"75 for 75" is a series of 75 vinyl releases from Atlantic Records' storied catalog to celebrate the label's 75th Anniversary. This great label includes some of the best artists and records of all time.

This new Kevin Gray mastered stereo reissue using the original tapes, plated and pressed at QRP, gives you a remarkably transparent open window on the original event presented, compared to the original, with greater dynamic authority, timbral vibrancy, dynamic range and image three-dimensionality.
-Michael Fremer, Tracking Angle, Music 9/10, Sound 9/10


  • Atlantic 75 Series
  • 180g Vinyl
  • 45rpm
  • Double LP
  • Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio from the Original Analog Tape
  • Plated & Pressed at Quality Record Pressings & RTI
  • Gatefold Old-Style "Tip-On" Jacket by Stoughton Printing


Charles Mingus bass
Jackie McLean alto sax
John Handy alto sax
Booker Ervin tenor sax
Pepper Adams baritone sax
Jimmy Knepper trombone
Willie Dennis trombone
Horace Parlan piano
Mal Waldron piano
Dannie Richmond drums


Side One:

  1. Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting
  2. Cryin' Blues

Side Two:

  1. Moanin'

Side Three:

  1. Tensions
  2. My Jelly Roll Soul

Side Four:

  1. E's Flat Ah's Flat Too

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