'Round About Midnight (album)

'Round About Midnight
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 4, 1957 (1957-03-04)[1][2]
RecordedOctober 26, 1955; June 5 and September 10, 1956
StudioColumbia 30th St (New York City)
ProducerGeorge Avakian
Miles Davis chronology
Birth of the Cool
'Round About Midnight

'Round About Midnight is an album by jazz trumpeter Miles Davis that was originally released by Columbia Records in March 1957.[1][2] It was Davis' first album with Columbia.


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 a positive reception from many jazz fans and critics.[3] His response to this performance was typically laconic: "What are they talking about? I just played the way I always play."[4] George Avakian of Columbia Records was in the audience, and his brother Aram persuaded him that he ought to sign Davis to the label.[5]

Davis signed with Columbia and formed his "first great quintet" with John Coltrane on saxophone. 'Round About Midnight was his first album for the label. He was still under contract to Prestige, but he had an agreement that he could record material for Columbia to release after the expiration of his Prestige contract. Recording took place at Columbia studios; the first session was on October 26, 1955 at Studio D, during which the track "Ah-Leu-Cha" was recorded with three numbers that did not appear on the album. This is the first studio recording of the quintet. The remainder of the album was recorded during sessions on June 5, 1956 ("Dear Old Stockholm", "Bye Bye Blackbird" and "Tadd's Delight") and September 10, 1956 ("All of You" and the titular "'Round Midnight") at Columbia's 30th Street Studio. During the same period, the Miles Davis Quintet was also recording sessions to fulfill its contract with Prestige.


On April 17, 2001, Sony reissued the album on compact disc for its Columbia/Legacy label with 24-bit audio remastering and four previously released bonus tracks from the initial sessions. "Budo" had been released as part of the 1957 anthology album on Columbia, Jazz Omnibus, and "Sweet Sue, Just You" had appeared on the 1956 album by Leonard Bernstein explaining jazz to the classical audience, What Is Jazz. A two-disc reissue of June 14, 2005, included the 2001 reissue with a second disc containing Davis' 1955 Newport Jazz Festival performance of "'Round Midnight", along with a recording of the quintet's set from the 1956 Pacific Jazz Festival. The Newport track had been released for the first time the previous year on the Legacy compilation Happy Birthday Newport: 50 Swinging Years!


Professional ratings
Review scores
All About Jazz(favorable)[7]
(Original LP release)
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music[9]
The Guardian[10]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz
Rolling Stone[11]
Tom Hull – on the WebA+[12]

In his five-star review in the May 16, 1957 issue of DownBeat magazine, Ralph J. Gleason called the album "modern jazz conceived and executed in the very best style."[13] Ralph Berton of The Record Changer called the album "orthodox, middle-of-the-road conservative progressive jazz." The Penguin Guide to Jazz said it "sounds like a footnote" to the Prestige contractual obligation sessions (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."[14] Bob Rusch of Cadence wrote, "everything about this date, from the black-and-white cover photo, washed in red, of Miles Davis, removed in thought behind dark glasses, to the performances, is classic. Not surprisingly, careful packaging and exquisite artistry have created a legend and, in this case, one of the essential recordings in the history of recorded music."[15]

Track listing[]

Side one[]

Side two[]

1."Bye Bye Blackbird"Mort Dixon, Ray Henderson7:57
2."Tadd's Delight"Tadd Dameron4:29
3."Dear Old Stockholm"traditional; arranged by Stan Getz7:52

2001 bonus tracks[]

7."Two Bass Hit" (previously issued on Circle in the Round)John Lewis, Dizzy Gillespie3:45
8."Little Melonae" (previously issued on Basic Miles)Jackie McLean7:22
9."Budo" (previously issued on Jazz Omnibus)Bud Powell, Miles Davis4:17
10."Sweet Sue, Just You" (previously issued on What Is Jazz)Will J. Harris, Victor Young3:40

2005 anniversary ion bonus disc[]

1."'Round Midnight" (live at the Newport Jazz Festival, July 17, 1955)Thelonious Monk, Bernie Hanighen, Cootie Williams6:00
2."Introduction by Gene Norman" 1:36
3."Chance It (aka Max Making Wax)"Oscar Pettiford4:33
4."Walkin'"Richard Carpenter10:02
5."Dialogue by Gene Norman and Miles Davis" 0:27
6."It Never Entered My Mind"Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart5:18
7."Woody 'n' You"Dizzy Gillespie5:46
8."Salt Peanuts"Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Clarke4:33
9."Closing Theme"Miles Davis0:28


Newport personnel bonus disc track one

Production personnel[]


  1. ^ a b "'Round About Midnight". Miles Davis. Sony Music. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b Porter, Lewis, ed. (2013). The John Coltrane Reference. New York/Abingdon: Routledge. p. 417. ISBN 978-1135112578.
  3. ^ Chambers, Jack (1998). Milestones: The Music and Times of Miles Davis (1st Da Capo Press ed.). Da Capo Press. pp. 205–206. ISBN 0-306-80849-8.
  4. ^ Morgenstern, Dan (2004). Living with Jazz (1st ed.). Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-375-42072-X.
  5. ^ Carr, Ian (1999). Miles Davis: The Definitive Biography. Thunder's Mouth Press. p. 88. ISBN 1-56025-241-3.
  6. ^ "Down Beat" May 16, 1957, Vol. 24, No. 10
  7. ^ Kelman, John (1 August 2005). "Miles Davis: 'Round About Midnight (Legacy Edition)". All About Jazz. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  8. ^ Jurek, Thom. "'Round About Midnight". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  9. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195313734.
  10. ^ Fordham, John (1 July 2005). "Miles Davis, Round About Midnight". the Guardian. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  11. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. pp. 214–. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  12. ^ Hull, Tom (n.d.). "Grade List: Miles Davis". Tom Hull – on the Web. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  13. ^ Alkyer, Frank; Enright, Ed; Koransky, Jason (2007). The Miles Davis Reader. Hal Leonard Books. pp. 201–. ISBN 978-1-4234-3076-6. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  14. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2006). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (8th ed.). New York: Penguin. p. 321. ISBN 0-14-102327-9.
  15. ^ Rusch, Bob (1994). Wynn, Ron; Erlewine, Michael; Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris (eds.). All music Guide to Jazz. San Francisco: Miller Freeman. p. 194. ISBN 0-87930-308-5.