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