'Round About Midnight
'Round About Midnight Studio album by Miles Davis Released March 18, 1957 Recorded October 26, 1955; June 5 and September 10, 1956
30th Street Studios
(New York, New York)
Genre Jazz Length 38:47 Label Columbia
Producer George Avakian Miles Davis chronology Workin' with The Miles Davis Quintet
'Round About Midnight
'Round About Midnight is an album by jazz musician Miles Davis. It was his debut on Columbia Records, and was originally released in March 1957 (CL 949). The album took its name from the Thelonious Monk song "'Round Midnight".
Recording sessions took place at Columbia Studio D on October 26, 1955, and at Columbia's 30th Street Studio on June 5 and September 10, 1956. 'Round About Midnight is widely recognized by jazz critics as a landmark album in hard bop and one of the greatest jazz albums of all time. On April 17, 2001, Sony reissued the album for compact disc on its Columbia/Legacy label, which featured 24-bit remastering and included bonus tracks and master takes from the initial sessions. A further two-disc reissue on June 14, 2005, was released, as part of Sony's Legacy Edition series, which featured the 2001 reissue and a second disc containing Davis' celebrated Newport Jazz Festival of 1955 performance of "'Round Midnight", along with a recording of the quintet's set from the 1956 Pacific Jazz Festival.
At the Newport Jazz Festival in 1955, Davis performed the song "'Round Midnight" as part of an all-star jam session, with the song's composer Thelonious Monk, along with Connie Kay and Percy Heath of the Modern Jazz Quartet, Zoot Sims, and Gerry Mulligan. Davis's solo received an extremely positive reception from many jazz fans, and critics. It was viewed as a significant comeback and indication of a healthy, drug-free Miles (he had in fact been free from heroin addiction for well over a year). Miles's response to this performance was typically laconic: "What are they talking about? I just played the way I always play." George Avakian of Columbia Records was in the audience, and his brother Aram persuaded him that he ought to sign Davis to the label. Davis was eventually signed to Columbia Records, and was able to form his famous "first great quintet" with John Coltrane on saxophone. 'Round About Midnight was to be his first album for his new label.
Davis was still under contract to Prestige Records, but had an agreement that he could record material for Columbia to release after the expiry of his Prestige contract. The recording dates for the album were at Columbia Records studios; the first session was on October 27, 1955 at Studio D, during which the tracks "Tadd's Delight", "Dear Old Stockholm" and the soon-to-be standard "Bye Bye Blackbird" were recorded. This is the first studio recording of the quintet. The remainder of the album was recorded during sessions on June 5 and September 10, 1956 at Columbia's 30th Street Studio.
During the same period, the Miles Davis Quintet was also recording albums to fulfill its contract with Prestige. The earliest sessions for 'Round About Midnight (that produced "Ah-Leu-Cha", "Two Bass Hit", "Little Melonae" and "Budo") was the first recording to ever be done by this formation of the Miles Davis Quintet.
Reception and influence
Professional ratings Review scores Source Rating All About Jazz (favorable) link Allmusic link The Guardian link MusicHound link Penguin Guide to Jazz link PopMatters (favorable) link Rolling Stone link Virgin Encyclopedia link Warr link
On release, 'Round About Midnight received an average reception. Ralph Berton of The Record Changer described it as "orthodox, middle-of-the-road conservative progressive jazz." The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings states that the recording "sounds like a footnote" to the Prestige contractual obligation sessions (eventually released as the albums Miles, Relaxin', Workin', Steamin', and Cookin'), and that "the material is fine but somehow fails to cast quite the consistent spell which the Prestige recordings do." Throughout the years following its initial reception, 'Round About Midnight's standing among critics has improved significantly. Music writer Eugene Holley, Jr. later praised the album in a review, writing:Stylistically, Midnight encompasses standards (or soon-to-be standards) such as "Dear Old Stockholm", "Bye-Bye Blackbird", Tadd Dameron's "Tadd's Delight", and Jackie McLean's forward-thinking composition "Little Melonae." Miles and company reprise "Budo" from the historic Birth of the Cool sessions. The standout track is Davis's Harmon-muted reading of Thelonious Monk's ballad, "'Round Midnight", which is still a Miles standard bearer... If you want to hear the origins of post-bop modern jazz, this is it.
Considered by most to be one of the pinnacles of the hard bop era, the song selection on Midnight represents a summation of the earlier bebop era, with the performances tempered by Davis' inherent lyricism but rooted in the new style as promoted by hard bop pioneers Art Blakey and Horace Silver with the Jazz Messengers, and the Max Roach/Clifford Brown quintet, in 1956 featuring ex-Davis foil Sonny Rollins. Coltrane had yet to become an iconic figure in jazz history, his presence in the Davis Quintet a let-down to many in lieu of the aforementioned Rollins. His style, while embryonically frenetic and searching, was not quite the sheets of sound approach celebrated later in the decade. In April 1957, Coltrane's heroin use would lead to his leaving Davis and working with Monk, and under Monk's tutelage the saxophonist's playing style solidified considerably.
- "Bye Bye Blackbird" (Henderson) – 7:59
- "Tadd's Delight" (Dameron) – 4:33
- "Dear Old Stockholm" (Traditional, arranged by Getz) – 7:55
- Disc one
Bonus cuts from the 2001 reissue. All songs from October 1955 session, except where noted.
- "Two Bass Hit" (Gillespie, Lewis) – 3:47
- "Little Melonae" (McLean) – 7:24
- "Budo" (Miles Davis, Powell) – 4:17
- "Sweet Sue, Just You" (Harris, Young) – 3:39 (September 1956 session)
- Disc two
All tracks from the Pacific Jazz Festival of February, 1956 except where noted
- "'Round Midnight" – 6:00 (live from the Newport Jazz Festival 1955)
- Introduction by Gene Norman – 1:35
- "Chance It (Max Making Wax)" (Pettiford) – 4:33
- "Walkin'" (Carpenter) – 10:02
- Dialogue by Gene Norman and Miles Davis – 0:27
- "It Never Entered My Mind" (Rodgers, Hart) – 5:17
- "Woody 'n' You" (Gillespie) – 5:45
- "Salt Peanuts" (Gillespie, Clarke) – 4:33
- "Closing Theme" (Davis) – 0:27
- Miles Davis – trumpet
- John Coltrane – tenor saxophone
- Red Garland – piano
- Paul Chambers – bass
- Philly Joe Jones – drums
- Newport Jazz All-Star Personnel
- Miles Davis – trumpet
- Zoot Sims – tenor saxophone
- Gerry Mulligan – baritone saxophone
- Thelonious Monk – piano
- Percy Heath – bass
- Connie Kay – drums
- George Avakian – Producer, Liner Notes
- Frank Laico – Engineer
- Teo Macero – Mastering
- Don Hunstein – Photography
- Aram Avakian – Photography
- Dennis Stock – Photography
- Seth Rothstein – Reissue Project Director
- Michael Cuscuna – Reissue Producer
- Bob Belden – Reissue Producer
- Randall Martin – Reissue Design
- Ray Moore – Reissue Engineer
- Mark Wilder – Reissue Engineering and Mastering
- Howard Fritzson – Reissue Art Director
- Bob Blumentha Reissue Liner Notes
Prestige albums recorded by the same personnel in 1955–1956:
- Miles: The New Miles Davis Quintet (1955)
- Relaxin' with the Miles Davis Quintet (1956)
- Steamin' with the Miles Davis Quintet (1956)
- Workin' with the Miles Davis Quintet (1956)
- Cookin' with the Miles Davis Quintet (1956)
- ^ a b Chambers, Jack (1998). Milestones: The Music and Times of Miles Davis. Da Capo Press. pp. 205–206. ISBN 0-306-80849-8.
- ^ Davis, Miles (1989). Miles: The Autobiography. Simon & Schuster. pp. 167–170. ISBN 0-671-72582-3.
- ^ Morgenstern, Dan (2004). Living with Jazz. Random House. ISBN 0-375-42072-X.
- ^ Carr, Ian (1999). Miles Davis: The Definitive Biography. Thunder's Mouth Press. p. 88. ISBN 1-56025-241-3.
- ^ Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2006) . The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (8th ed. ed.). New York: Penguin. p. 321. ISBN 0-14-102327-9.
- ^ Amazon.com: Editorial Reviews – 'Round About Midnight
- Nisenson, E. 'Round About Midnight – A Portrait Of Miles Davis. Da Capo Press, 2nd ed., 1996.
- Allmusic – "Round About Midnight (Bonus Tracks)>Credits".
- Jurek, T. – "Round About Midnight (Bound Tracks)>Review".
John Coltrane Prestige albums
Coltrane · John Coltrane with the Red Garland Trio · Soultrane · The Cats · Cattin' with Coltrane and Quinichette · Lush Life · Standard Coltrane · Settin' the Pace · Dakar · Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane · Stardust · Tenor Conclave · The Believer · Black Pearls · Wheelin' and Dealin' · Bahia · Interplay · The Last Trane · Two Tenors
Blue Note albums Atlantic albums Impulse! albums
Africa/Brass · Ballads · Coltrane · Duke Ellington & John Coltrane · John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman · Impressions · To the Beat of a Different Drum · Crescent · A Love Supreme · The John Coltrane Quartet Plays · Transition · First Meditations · Ascension · Kulu Sé Mama · Sun Ship · Living Space · Om · Meditations · Cosmic Music · Stellar Regions · Interstellar Space · Expression · Live at the Village Vanguard Again! · Live in Japan · Live in Seattle · Infinity · The Olatunji Concert: The Last Live Recording
With Wilbur Harden With Miles Davis
Miles: The New Miles Davis Quintet · Basic Miles · 'Round About Midnight · Workin' with The Miles Davis Quintet · Steamin' with The Miles Davis Quintet · Relaxin' with The Miles Davis Quintet · Cookin' with The Miles Davis Quintet · Miles Davis Quintet at Peacock Alley · Milestones · 1958 Miles · Miles & Monk at Newport · Kind of Blue · Someday My Prince Will Come · Jazz at the Plaza
With Thelonious Monk Live albums
Live! at the Village Vanguard · Live in Stockholm 1961 · The Complete Copenhagen Concert · The Complete Paris Concerts · The Complete 1962 Stockholm Concert · The Complete Graz Concert · Bye Bye Blackbird · Live at Birdland 1962 · The European Tour · Afro Blue Impressions · Live in Stockholm 1963 · Newport '63 · The Paris Concert · Live at Birdland · Brazilia · Live at the Half Note: One Down, One Up · Creation · New Thing at Newport · Live in Paris · Live in Antibes
The Best of John Coltrane · Gleanings · The Complete Columbia Recordings of Miles Davis with John Coltrane · The Complete Prestige Recordings · The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings · The Classic Quartet: The Complete Impulse! Recordings · Ken Burns Jazz: John Coltrane · The Last Giant: Anthology · Coltrane for Lovers
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