Premiere: Fred Hersch And Sara Gazarek Perform ‘Dreams/Darn That Dream’


​Fred Hersch reflects on duos he’s played in over the years for a series of singles that the pianist is calling Fred Hersch & Friends.

(Photo: Steve J. Sherman)

The search for and desire to find love drives most of humanity. And pianist Fred Hersch, working with vocalist Sara Gazarek, aims to impart that resonant necessity through collaboration.

This pastiche of a poem and standard—“Dreams/Darn That Dream”—premieres below. It was recorded at the Mondavi Center in Davis, California, last year and sets the pair in a series of sensitive responses to one another. The tune comes as part of Fred Hersch & Friends, a clutch of singles that finds Hersch re-examining his past work in duo settings. In a similar reappraisal, the pianist last year issued 10 Years/6 Discs, a box set documenting his enduring trio.

“This was my first time playing with Sara Gazarek,” Hersch wrote about the song hin a press release. “I was familiar with her from her recordings, and the buzz about her has been very strong lately. ... She possesses an ability to be spontaneous, is a first-rate musician and is deeply connected to any lyric she sings. The introduction, ‘Dreams,’ is a freely improvised take on a poem by Sara Teasdale—and it connects seamlessly into the standard ‘Darn That Dream.’ The vibe is magic, and her performance is deep.” DB

  • Casey_B_2011-115-Edit.jpg

    Benjamin possessed a fluid, round sound on the alto saxophone, and he was often most recognizable by the layers of electronic effects that he put onto the instrument.

  • David_Sanborn_by_C_Andrew_Hovan.jpg

    Sanborn’s highly stylized playing and searing signature sound — frequently ornamented with thrill-inducing split-tones and bluesy bent notes — influenced generations of jazz and blues saxophonists.

  • Albert_Tootie_Heath_2014_copy.jpg

    ​Albert “Tootie” Heath (1935–2024) followed in the tradition of drummer Kenny Clarke, his idol.

  • 1_Henry_Threadgills_Zooid_by_Cora_Wagoner.jpg

    Henry Threadgill performs with Zooid at Big Ears in Knoxville, Tennessee.

  • MichaelCuscuna_Katz_2042_6a_1995_copy.jpg

    Cuscuna played a singular role in the world of jazz as a producer of new jazz, R&B and rock recordings; as co-founder of a leading reissue record label; as a historian, journalist and DJ; and as the man who singlehandedly kept the Blue Note label on life support.

On Sale Now
May 2024
Stefon Harris
Look Inside
Print | Digital | iPad