VARIOUS ARTISTS / “Round Midnight Mixtape”

12 Shades of Midnight
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One of those near perfect pieces of music, a melody
Whose heartbeat we all can feel, whether
Swinging or contemplative, agitated or
At peace, Monk has achieved a platform that
Supports all our feelings, all our moodinesses

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Listen to a dozen interpretations—versions that literally
Circle the globe: Argentina, Singapore, Portugal,
Camouroon/France; jazz versions that cover the
Waterfront from the avant-garde of Coltrane (Ravi) &
Pharoah Sanders to the gentle torchlight of Jacintha,
Hard swinging from Marlena Shaw and tenor master
Joe Henderson featured on a Freddie Hubbard recording to
Big band excursions from Gene “Jug” Ammons and from the
GRP All-Star Big Band, on to the innovative flavorings and
Mash-ups proffered by the Gotan Project, Joana Machado,
& Les Nubians. Listen. Listen
Especially to Thelonious, the master
Of the musical monastery that is
His composition. Listen.

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Here is how we hear ourselves
In the hours when sleep flees but
Staying awake is a pain-filled option, hear
The sound of how we finger our emotional wounds
Worrying the same slender thread until we are either broken,
Freed from self pity or else are totally cocooned
In cords of despair—hear what we do
To ourselves at midnights

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Get free or go
Under, surrendering pride &
Sometimes even breath at the hour of
Magic and mayhem, or mining the inner
Strength to surge past our psychic cemeteries
And greet the dawn renewed in a vow
To carry on, to ride on, to sing on, to dance

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Oh the beauty of surviving death
Living to and through the darkness that descends
Round us
Around about

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—Kalamu ya Salaam

Round Midnight Mixtape Playlist

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01 Thelonious Monk - The Columbia Years 1962-1968

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02 Gotan Project (featuring Chet Baker) - Inspiracion - Espiracion

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03 Joana Machado - Crude

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04 Pharoah Sanders – concert bootleg Nice, France 1971

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05 Chaka Khan - Classikhan

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06 GRP All-Star Big Band (featuring Ernie Watts – tenor sax)

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07 Marlena Shaw - Live In Tokyo

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08 Ravi Coltrane - Mad 6

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09 Freddie Hubbard (featuring Joe Henderson) - Keystone Bop Vol 2.

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10 Jacintha - Jacintha Is Her Name

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11 Gene Ammons - Brasswind

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12 Les Nubians - Saint-Germain-Des-Prés Revisité

This entry was posted on Monday, July 27th, 2009 at 6:17 am and is filed under Cover. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “VARIOUS ARTISTS / “Round Midnight Mixtape””

Sue Ross Says:
July 27th, 2009 at 7:50 am

Round Midnight is one of my all-time favorite songs. You made me pull out my own mix-tape – luckily I still have a cassette player in my car!

My tape features:
on Side 1: Thelonius Monk (1947); Miles Davis & John Coltrane (1956;) Ella Fitzgerald & Count Basie Band (Montreux 1979); Charlie Bird Parker & Dizzy Gillespie (1951); Herbie Hancock & Wynton Marsalis (1982); Sarah Vaughan (Live in japan); Giants of Jazz- Art Blakey, Dizzy, Monk (1972); Mary Lou Williams (1953); Max Roach (1981)
on side 2: Kenny Burrell (1980); Nancy Wilson, Chick Corea, Joe Henderson (1982); Bird & Bud Powell (1950); Betty Carter (1995); Stanley Jordan solo (1985); Dexter Gordon & Woody Shaw (1976) and a reprise of Monk (1947).

I love Monk and adore this song – the moodiness, the mystery, the promise…

There are many other versions we could include. I hope other listeners will recommend their own favorite versions.

Stephanie Renee Says:
July 28th, 2009 at 8:17 am

Another version of this song that I adore is the jazzy pop sound of New York Voice. Manhattan Transfer they ain’t, but the arrangement in the breakdown is awesome.

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