Sunday, October 13, 2013

Videos Of Various Jazz Artists Performing "Round Midnight"

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases five videos of various Jazz artists performing Thelonious Monk's composition "Round Midnight" (also known as "Round About Midnight". Information about this Jazz classic is also provided in this post. The lyrics to this instrumental are also given in this post.

The content of this post is presented for historical, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

"'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....

"'Round Midnight" is the most-recorded jazz standard composed by a jazz musician.[1] In 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.[2]"....
From "Help!!! Who in the world wrote 'Round Midnight???"
posted by Don Brown June 5th, 2005, 08:30 AM
"I believe it's really quite straightforward: Monk wrote 'Round Midnight (or "Round About Midnight as he originally called it) while working as a sideman with Cootie Williams. In those days it was quite common for a bandleader to share composer credit on originals contributed by one of his sidemen.

Later Bernie Hanighen wrote lyrics for the piece (that's when "About" in the title got dropped). So now the composer credits read "Hanighen, Monk, Williams". But let's face it: it's Monk's composition."

Example #1: Thelonious Monk - Round About Midnight

brucutu30, Uploaded on Sep 25, 2006

Thelonious Monk - Round About Midnight. Sin palabras, Genio total y absoluto. Ripeado por mi de la cadena ARTE.
Google translate from Spanish to English: “Without words, complete and utter genius. Ripped by me ART chain.”

Example #2: Ella Fitzgerald - Round Midnight


guachifluchi, Uploaded on Dec 16, 2007

Ella Fitzgerald sings "Round Midnight".

Piano: Oscar Peterson
Bass: Ray Brown
Drums: Ed Thigpen
Composer: Thelonious Monk
(UK, 1961)

It begins to tell,
round midnight, midnight.
I do pretty well till after sundown.
Suppertime, I'm feeling sad;
but it really gets bad,
round midnight.
Memories always start round midnight.
Haven't got the heart
to stand those memories,
when my heart is still with you,
and old midnight knows it, too.
When a quarrel we had needs mending,
does it mean that our love is ending?
Darling, I need you, lately I find
you're out of my heart,
and I'm out of my mind.
Let our hearts take wings
round midnight, midnight.
Let the angels sing,
for your returning,
till our love is safe and sound
and old midnight comes around.
Feeling sad,
really gets bad
round midnight...

Example #3: Wes Montgomery - Round Midnight

jazzytaka, Uploaded on Jan 16, 2008

Wes Montgomery - Round Midnight

Example #4: Miles Davis - Round About Midnight (1967)

milesgrooves, Uploaded on May 4, 2008

Miles Davis Quintet featuring Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams. Recorded at Berlin, West Germany, on November 4, 1967

part of 1967 European Tour

Example #5: Dexter Gordon - 'Round Midnight (live)

valentino sampaoli, Uploaded on Sep 8, 2011

Dexter Gordon is considered to be the first musician to translate the language of Bebop to the tenor saxophone
dex did one of the best solos on this tune
this is a live version from Homecoming

Thanks to the musical legacy of all of the musicians and vocalist showcased in this post.

Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTubee.

Thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.


  1. Where did the lyrics come from for the below-linked version by Carmen McRae? I am just learning this tune and confused about the two versions of lyrics. I like the way she points at the viewer in this one as she sings: "Life's a game of chance, and you're one of the minor players..."

    1. Greetings, Monique Avakian.

      Here's the hyperlink that you shared in your comment:

      I don't know the answer to your question. Hopefully, someone will respond who does know who wrote the lyrics to that version of "Round About Midnight".