‘Round Midnight

“The nostalgia, loneliness and tears of the night”

Music of Earle Hagen, William Bolcom, Bob Dylan, George Antheil, Elliott Carter, Thelonius Monk, and Miles Davis.


AMERICAN HIGHWAYS #12: ‘Round Midnight (Original broadcast date: Friday 6pm european central time, April 3rd. Repeat broadcast on Friday May 15th.)

laura-1944Music for the night is a universal cultural fact, a meme as ancient as they come. Although music in the night could be about revelry, partying, and abandon, that’s not what this show is about. And music in the night could also be about keeping the enemy away, whether ghost or man or beast. But that’s not what this show is about either.


No, tonight’s show is about the nostalgia, the loneliness, and the tears of the night. And to a large extent, our twentieth century soundtrack of the night has been defined by jazz. The night is dark, the night is romantic, the night is sad, regretful, and nostalgic, the night smoky inside, and a little bit sinister out on the streets. You can see where I’m going here – kind of a film-noir view of the night, with a few stars in the sky, seen through the haze, or more likely, a drizzle raining down on the pavement; wet reflections of streetlights; muted steps of passersby; an abandonned umbrella with wet leaves on it. And where would film noir be without jazz in the background? Not all of the night pieces on this show are jazz, but all of them owe a debt to the jazz idiom.


Theme Music :
Steve Reich. The Desert Music (1984)
First Movement (Fast).
Chorus of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Members of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Michael Tilson Thomas & William Carlos Williams. Nonesuch Records 79101.

Earle Hagen
1. Harlem Nocturne
Harry James, Nick Buono, Fred Koyen…
Verve Records 314 513 460-2

William Bolcom
2. Casino Paradise – Night Make My Day
William Bolcom, piano; Carole Farley, singer.
Naxos 8.559249

Bob Dylan
3. Full Moon and Empty Arms
Sony Music 88875057962

George Antheil
Serenade No. 2

4. I. Moderately Fast (9:20)
5. II. Slow (7:00)
6. III. Quite Fast (5:52)
Philadelphia Virtuosi, o.l.v. Daniel Spalding.
New World Records 80647-2

Thelonious Monk
7. ‘Round Midnight
Thelonious Monk, solo piano.
Columbia 65495

8. Night Fantasies (1980)
Ursula Oppens, pianist.
Music & Arts CD 604

Thelonius Monk
9. ‘Round Midnight
Miles Davis, Herbie Mann, Jerome Richardson, Betty Glamann, Eddie Costa, Bill Evans…
Verve Records 314 513 460-2



Bob Dylan fake film noir video:


iTunes podcast by Guy Livingston: ‘Round Midnight

2 comments to “‘Round Midnight”
  1. Guy, Appropriately your program serenades me through the night — merging my night fussings that keep me from sleep into other thoughts. Wonderful program — always interesting to hear your musings. Bravo!

  2. Pingback: Podcast: Nocturnes - Radio GuyLive

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