ROUND MIDNIGHT might easily be called the best jazz film ever made, and not only because, aside from 1988's BIRD, the competition is so weak. The film's quality lies not just in its vivid portrayal of the bebop milieu, but also in its sensitive examination of the turbulent forces within an
artist compelled to create on a nightly basis, despite personal consequences. Dedicated to jazz greats Lester Young and Bud Powell, the film begins in 1959 as black bebop jazzman Dale Turner (Dexter Gordon), "the greatest tenor saxophone player in the world," leaves New York City for Paris.
Alcoholic, ill, and apparently a former heroin addict, Turner plays nightly at Paris' famo...