"'Round Midnight" is a 1944 jazz standard by pianist Thelonious Monk. 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.
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". "'Round Midnight" is the most-recorded jazz standard composed by a jazz musician. In allmusic.com it appears in over 1000 albums. 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 of the song based on Dizzy Gillespie's interpretation. The song became a signature song for Miles Davis, as his performance of the song 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.
Monk recorded the song several times throughout his career; it appears on the albums Genius of Modern Music: Volume 1 (first recording of the song by Monk), Thelonious Himself, Mulligan Meets Monk, Misterioso, Thelonious Monk at the Blackhawk, and Monk's Blues (bonus track).
Dexter Gordon (February 27, 1923 – April 25, 1990) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and an Academy Award-nominated actor (Round Midnight, Warner Bros, 1986). He is regarded as one of the first and most important musicians to adapt the bebop musical language of people like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Bud Powell to the tenor saxophone. His studio and live performance career were both extensive and multifaceted, spanning over 50 years in recorded jazz history.
Gordon's height was 6 feet 6 inches (198 cm), so he was also known as "Long Tall Dexter" and "Sophisticated Giant". He played a Conn 10M 'Ladyface' tenor until it was stolen in a Paris airport in 1961. He then switched over to a Selmer Mark VI. His saxophone was fitted with an Otto Link metal mouthpiece, which can be seen in various photos.
In 1985, Dexter Gordon was named a member and Officer of the French Order of Arts and Letters by the Ministry of Culture in France, and was nominated for an Academy Award in 1986. He died on April 25, 1990, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
An outstanding strangely upbeat version of a downbeat classic piece written by the great Thelonious Monk.
Try anything featuring Dexter Gordon.
Forever one of the best of the best tenor saxophone players in the art of jazz.
From 'Round Midnight album, 1985, #4 track.
This is a part of the original track, containing only Dexter Gordon's solo.