It begilns to tell 'round midnight...
April 15, 2008 12:07 AM   Subscribe

Give me recommendations for vocal versions of Round Midnight.

The first time I heard this song, it was sung to me by a friend with a lovely mid-range voice, and the lyrics were absolutely haunting. The style of delivery was very simple and crisp rather than resonating. More Diana Krall than Sarah Vaugh, let's say.

I've got four instrumental versions of the song, but I've yet to find a vocal version with a singer that makes me feel as calm as this friend did. Amy Winehouse's take gives me a raging headache, for example. Kenny Rankin's version makes it sound like a teenybopper song. Linda Ronstadt's is pretty good, but a bit rushed (and it sounds like she's stretching her voice at times), though Ella Fitzgerald's version is very close to what I'm looking for.

I apologize if I come off as really picky - I guess I am in this case. I adore the lyrics a lot and would love to find the ideal cover, and maybe you know of some niche indie artist that fits these descriptors perfectly. I'm not sure how clear I've expressed myself and I'm sure there are hundreds of covers to pick from. I guess I'm looking for more melodic, less raspy/throaty, more focused on a decently jazzy beat and a smooth delivery rather than the "creative takes of rhythm" some of the above artists seem to favour.

Thanks in advance!
posted by Phire to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Julie London does a lovely version that sounds close to what you're asking for. I'll see if I can find it online... and no luck. Someone wiser may be able to help out there.

But definitely check her out if you can- she does a damn fine job of it.
posted by twirlypen at 12:29 AM on April 15, 2008

Best answer: You might like the Andy Summers/Sting version. It's on the Andy Summers album called (appropriately enough) "Green Chimneys."
posted by epimorph at 1:23 AM on April 15, 2008

Best answer: enthusiastically 2nding the julie london suggestion - smokey torch songs don't get much better than this. every song on her "best of" album is also absolute quality, but round midnight stands out even among the other gems on there.
posted by messiahwannabe at 3:35 AM on April 15, 2008

Robert Wyatt. mail me if it is difficult to find.
posted by modernpoverty at 4:30 AM on April 15, 2008

I have a hazy memory of Dianne Reeves (?) doing a wonderful version of the song -- I thought it was off the soundtrack for "Round Midnight," but now I can't find it... arghhh...
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:15 AM on April 15, 2008

The New York Voices do a very nice version on their first album.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 6:24 AM on April 15, 2008

I'm a big Chet Baker fan, and I'm not sure if he does more than scat sing on this version (I don't have it), but he's always amazing.
posted by Liosliath at 7:14 AM on April 15, 2008

Cassandra Wilson (SYTL).
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:23 AM on April 15, 2008

Not Dianne Reeves, Diane Schur -- listen to a clip here.

God, I miss my memory.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:27 AM on April 15, 2008

Carmen McRae does a version on Carmen Sings Monk (two versions on the remastered edition); haven't listened to the album in a few years but I remember really loving it.
posted by mediareport at 7:44 AM on April 15, 2008

It would be a shame for this thread not to include Bobby McFerrin, though it may not be quite the version you're looking for.

The chord changes to Round Midnight are pretty amazingly nice, btw.
posted by lothar at 8:15 AM on April 15, 2008

Best answer: My absolute favorite version is on the Sun Ra album Greatest Hits: Easy Listening for Intergalactic Travel, and is sung by Hattie Randolph. I can send you the mp3 if you like, just drop me a line.
posted by Bromius at 10:56 AM on April 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Very cool recs all of you! I've listened to clips and samples of all the songs (except for the two kind souls I emailed about your particular versions). Andy Summers and Julie London are exactly what I'm looking for, many many thanks!
posted by Phire at 3:15 PM on April 15, 2008

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