The Ten Shades Of Blues starts out with "Take One," of which All About Jazz considered a "a choral masterpiece." All of the vocals are Bona's except there are no actual lyrics, just notes played on the guitar. "Shiva Mantra" showcases his Jazz and African music background while introducing an Indian overtone with his signature bass line. This moving tune features the mesmerizing vocals of Shankar Mahadevan and Nandini Srikar, as well as Niladiri Kumar on sitar. "Good Times" features R&B vocalist, Frank McComb and Gregoire Maret on harmonica while Tennessean Ryan Cavanaugh (banjo) and Christian Howes (violin) assist on "African Cowboy" giving an Americana feel to it. Stand-out track "Mbemba Mama" meaning "the tears of the mother" pays tribute to all mothers, including his own. Of the song, Bona says "there are the joys and sufferings of a mother: they're there to protect us all their lives."