In 'Round Midnight,’ real-life jazz legend Dexter Gordon brilliantly portrays the fictional tenor sax player Dale Turner (a hybrid invention of Lester Young and Bud Powell), a musician slowly losing the battle with alcoholism, estranged from his family, and hanging on by a thread in the 1950s 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 not based upon the colour 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 rekindles his spirit and his music as the end draws near. One of the joys in watching this film is spotting who’s who in the cast of supporting musicians, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter, etc, — a roll call of jazz talent.