Taiwan Fun Magazine, November 2004

Moonlit Magic: 'Round Midnight

By Courtney Donovan Smith Translated by Erika Jean



Round Midnight is glamourous and smooth. Watching them perform in the elegant surroundings of Liquid Lounge was at once a trip into the past and a vibrant experience of the immediate. Out front was Lindsey Berger, a tall blond bombshell, crooning and enticing with a warm, low-pitched voice and a elegantly-sexy black dress. Behind her the band was dressed to the nines, with sharp suits and skinny ties.

This band is even more sharp musically. Playing a mix of original jazz and classics, their music is smooth, cool and vibrant. Backed by a strong grasp of the fundamentals of more traditional jazz forms, dashes of bossa nova and a "strong-boned" hip-hop influence, they play subtlely with your expectations.

Keep your ears pricked for "Casper's Blues", a tune written by the band for--of all things--a man who worked at a flower show. With a distinct melody line, it serves as a springboard for improv, which shows their solid communication skills, tight playing and good rapport to good effect.

The band members are all accomplished musicians. Sax player Patrick Byrne, also of the band Schlumpy, plays a historically grounded, but challenging style. On the keyboard is the amazing Roger Smith, a classically-trained musician with amazing technique and an apparent ability to play every instrument known to man. Drummer Curly, a drum teacher at Jimmy's House and drummer for underground punk band Reproduction, brings a youthful, playful hip-hop based twist to the mix.

With the Taichung Jazz Festival (where 'Round Midnight performed) just behind us, there is an increasing local interest in jazz. If you are looking for something beyond the standard formulaic pop, be sure to check out 'Round Midnight at Oldies on Monday nights at 10:30 p.m., or at Liquid Lounge on Wednesdays at the same time.