Miles Davis: 'Round Midnight
Miles Davis (trumpet)
'Round About Midnight (Sony SRCS 9101)
Composed by Thelonious Monk.
Recorded: New York, September 10, 1956
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
Miles Davis, photo by Herb Snitzer
Miles Davis almost missed the 1955 Newport Jazz Festival, and was only added at the last minute to a jam session. Davis selected Monk’s "‘Round Midnight" for his feature number, and his haunting muted trumpet work left the audience mesmerized. Columbia signed him largely on the basis of this performance, and Davis reprised the ballad on his debut LP for that label. He does little more than embellish the melody, but with such sensitivity to phrasing we ask for no more. Davis leaves the harmonic dissection to John Coltrane, who offers a restless, probing solo. A definitive version of a classic song.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia