Mingus focused on collective improvisation, similar to the old New Orleans jazz parades, paying particular attention to how each band member interacted with the group as a whole. In creating his bands, Mingus looked not only at the skills of the available musicians, but also their personalities. Many musicians passed through his bands and later went on to impressive careers. He recruited talented and sometimes little-known artists, whom he utilized to assemble unconventional instrumental configurations. As a performer, Mingus was a pioneer in double bass technique, widely recognized as one of the instrument's most proficient players.
This album, "Blues and Roots", has been described as "technically difficult music that drips with rhythm and soul" and stands the test of 100s of listenings because of its amazing musicianship and beautifully, complex compositions. On every song it seems, you hear one perfect, funky line by one instrument, which is then combined with another completely different melody by another...and another and another, until you have 10 players soloing over each other without stepping on toes. "It's a prayer meetin' with brains!"
This version also includes 4 bonus alternate takes.
1. Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting
2. Cryin' Blues
5. My Jelly Roll Soul
6. E's Flat Ah's Flat Too
7. Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting (alternate take)
8. Tensions (alternate take)
9. My Jelly Roll Soul (alternate take)
10.E's Flat Ah's Flat Too (alternate take)