Wednesday, August 17, 2011

All That Jazz - "'Round Midnight"

'Round Midnight is a jazz standard written by Thelonious Monk (trumpeter Cootie Williams and Bernie Hanighen also received credit for their contributions); it is the most recorded version of any jazz tune composed by a jazz musician in history.

I love Monk's interpretations, of course, which are like a walk along the waterfront on a cool autumn evening, but I also really enjoy the loose and breezy adaptation by the great jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery, who makes it sound like the party is still going on back at the club.

That's the great thing about jazz - different artists can take the same song, and use it to communicate a different mood, or feel, or message, from someone else. Best of all, none of the interpretations are inherently right, or wrong - the jazz ethos allows them the space to exist on their own terms.

Paul Kimball

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