'Round Midnight (song)
|Song by Thelonious Monk|
"'Round Midnight" (sometimes "'Round About Midnight") is a 1944 jazz standard by pianist Thelonious Monk. A version recorded by Monk's quintet was added to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1993. It is the most recorded jazz standard composed by a jazz musician.
Composition and Monk's first recording
It is thought that Monk originally composed the song sometime in 1940 or 1941. However, Harry Colomby claims that Monk may have written an early version around 1936 (at the age of 19) with the title "Grand Finale". Monk first recorded the song on the 1947 Blue Note album Genius of Modern Music: Volume 1, and recorded it several times after that. His first version was transcribed by Lionel Grigson in A Thelonious Monk Study Album (Novello, 1993).
Jazz artists Cootie Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Pepper, and Miles Davis have further embellished the song, with songwriter Bernie Hanighen adding lyrics. Both Williams and Hanighen have received co-credits for their contributions.
The song is also called "'Round About Midnight", as Miles Davis used this title for his Columbia Records album 'Round About Midnight (1957) that included a cover based on Dizzy Gillespie's interpretation. It became a signature song for Davis, it is said because his performance of it with Monk at the 1955 Newport Jazz Festival is said to have gotten him a record deal at Columbia Records. He recorded the song in the studio two other times, once for Prestige in 1953 and again in 1956 as released on Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants.
The version by Jimmy McGriff was used as the 6pm closedown theme in the early days of Radio Caroline in 1964.
In 1971, Ron Grainer used a down-tempo variation by Cootie Williams to accompany a memorable scene from The Omega Man. The song later appeared on a 2004 Gotan Project CD, Inspiración Espiración, featuring Chet Baker.
In 1986, the song was used as the title for the film Round Midnight which starred veteran saxophonist Dexter Gordon in a fictional story about an expatriate American jazz musician living in Paris. The soundtrack by Herbie Hancock prominently features the song 'Round Midnight along with a number of other jazz standards and a handful of original pieces written by Hancock.
In 2002, Italian pianist Emanuele Arciuli commissioned a number of composers to create the Round Midnight Variations. The composers included Roberto Andreoni, Milton Babbitt, Alberto Barbero, Carlo Boccadoro, William Bolcom, David Crumb, George Crumb, Michael Daugherty, Filippo Del Corno, John Harbison, Joel Hoffman, Aaron Jay Kernis, Gerald Levinson, Tobias Picker, Matthew Quayle, Frederic Rzewski, Augusta Read Thomas and Michael Torke.
Also covered by Amy Winehouse.
|Recording Date||Appears on||Duration||Release Date||Solo||Live||Note||References|
|1947/11/21||Genius of Modern Music||3:10||1951||the same version was already released in 1947 as a b-side of the "Well You Needn't"-single; today the compilation Genius of Modern Music: Volume 1 is more established||  |
|1954/06/07||The Prophet (EP)||5:13||1963||France only release|| |
|1957/04/12||Thelonious Himself||6:44||1957||The original CD reissue, released in 1987 via Original Jazz Classics/Riverside Records, includes an extensive 22-minute solo recording of "'Round Midnight" outtakes and experimentation in the studio.||  |
|1957/08/13||Mulligan Meets Monk||8:29||1957||  |
|1958/07/09||Thelonious in Action||6:15||1989||Bonus track on 1989-CD reissue.|| |
|1960/04/29||Thelonious Monk at the Blackhawk||12:07||1960|| |
|1961/04/15||The First European Concert '61||7:09||1991||unofficial release|| |
|1961/05/16||Thelonious Monk In Stockholm||6:52||1987||unofficial release|| |
|1963/02/09||Spastic And Personal||unofficial release|| |
|1964/10/31||Live at the It Club||6:32||1982||  |
|1964/11/03||Live at the Jazz Workshop||9:10||1982|| |
|1966/03/27||Switzerland 1966||1991||unofficial release|| |
|1968/11/19||Monk's Blues||3:49||1990||with quartet & big band; originaly released in 1968, but the track was first featured on the CD reissue in 1990 as a bonus track (recorded at the same session)|| |
|1968||Straight No Chaser - Music From The Motion Picture (OST)||2:14||1989|| |
|1970/10/04||Thelonious Monk In Tokyo|||
|1971/11/14||The Giants of Jazz||8:17||1972||as "The Giants of Jazz" with Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Al McKibbon, Sonny Stitt and Kai Winding; other recordings of the group have been made while touring Europe in 1971 and released as bootlegs||  |
|1972/06/15||The Last Concerts||6:54||2009|| |
|1972/09/16||Live At The 1972 Monterey Jazz Festival||5:15||2008/08/05||as "Art Blakey and The Giants of Jazz"|| |
|1975/07/03||The Last Concerts||7:40||2009|| |
- "Grammy Hall of Fame List". grammy.org. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
- 'Round Midnight at jazzstandards.com - retrieved February 20, 2009.
- Rachel Hoiem, "Layin' Dead – Composition Analysis: 'Round Midnight (1947)", As It ought To Be, October 6, 2009.
- Matthew Quayle
- Gourse, Leslie. Straight, No Chaser: The Life and Genius of Thelonious Monk. Schirmer Books, 1998. ISBN 0-8256-7229-5