'Round Midnight (1986) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • In 'Round Midnight, real-life jazz legend Dexter Gordon brilliantly portrays the fictional tenor sax player Dale Turner, a musician slowly losing the battle with alcoholism, estranged from his family, and hanging on by a thread in the 1950's New York jazz world. Dale gets an offer to play in Paris, where, like many other black American musicians at the time, he enjoys a respect for his humanity that is not based upon the color of his skin. A Parisian man who is obsessed with Turner's music befriends him and attempts to save Turner from himself. Although for Dale the damage is already done, his poignant relationship with the man and his young daughter re-kindles his spirit and his music as the end draws near.

  • It's worth pointing out that 'Round Midnight was based loosely on the life of Francis Paudras, a friend of many jazz luminaries. Among those who took up residence with him were Bud Powell and Bill Evans. He was also the author and compiler of the tome, To Bird With Love. The 11 CD collection of Bud Powell that he put out (almost all recorded in his home) gives us a glimpse of Bud like never before. He took his own life at 62 in his castle in Antigny, after an illness, and a most interesting life.

  • A troubled, but talented musician flees the US to escape his problems, finding refuge and support in Paris.

    Will S


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