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Home Blogs The Arts Thelonious Monk's 'ROUND MIDNIGHT ... brilliantly interpreted by Lady Ella

Thelonious Monk's 'ROUND MIDNIGHT ... brilliantly interpreted by Lady Ella

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I've been on a jazz journey lately ... the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis' revolutionary album, "Green in Blue," last year and the release of a new biography of Thelonious Monk have spurred me to rediscover this truly American sound.

In the book, Miles Davis talks about how long it took him months to learn how to play Monk's classic, "'Round Midnight."

Here's a clip of Lady Ella (Fitzgerald) doing her cover of it, with Oscar Peterson at the keyboard, the imcomparable Ray Brown on bass and Ed Thigpen on drums.

I saw Ella and Mel Torme at State Fair Music Hall in the early 1970s. My seat was in the last row of the third balcony, but it didn't matter. As much as I admire Torme, it was Ella who stole the show with her brilliance. No showboating, no crazy costumes, just an elegant lady on the stage taking our breath away with her magic.

Turn off your phone, put on your headphones and let these musicians take you to another universe.




Ella Fitzgerald sings "Round Midnight".

Piano: Oscar Peterson
Bass: Ray Brown
Drums: Ed Thigpen
Composer: Thelonious Monk
(UK, 1961)

It begins to tell,
'round midnight, midnight.
I do pretty well till after sundown.
Suppertime, I'm feeling sad;
but it really gets bad,
'round midnight.
Memories always start round midnight.
Haven't got the heart
to stand those memories,
when my heart is still with you,
and old midnight knows it, too.
When a quarrel we had needs mending,
does it mean that our love is ending?
Darling, I need you, lately I find
you're out of my heart,
and I'm out of my mind.
Let our hearts take wings
'round midnight, midnight.
Let the angels sing,
for your returning,
till our love is safe and sound
and old midnight comes around.
Feeling sad,
really gets bad
round midnight..

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