Darn That Dream: A favorite ballad of the beboppers

Although we don’t often think of bebop as “ballad music,” there were in fact a few ballads that the beboppers loved and frequently played. Darn The Dream, by Jimmy Van Heusen and Eddie DeLange, was one of these favorites.

Thelonious Monk played the song, and it was even included, complete with vocal crooning by Kenny Hagood, on Miles Davis’ legendary Birth of the Cool recording sessions. Here’s that version, which was arranged by the group’s baritone saxophonist, Gerry Mulligan.

When I was Gerry Mulligan’s assistant in the late 1980’s, he would occasionally end his concerts by putting down his baritone sax, sitting down at the piano and playing a solo version of this great tune. Here’s a rare video of Gerry playing the tune with a quartet. He even takes a piano solo!

I remember hearing Gerry play Darn That Dream on piano in his living room. I’m sure that he must have influenced the way I play the tune to this day. Here’s my recent video of Darn That Dream, which I hope gives you some ideas for your own interpretation of this great tune.

Darn That Dream: Journey Through The Real Book #81

Good luck with your piano playing, and “let the music flow!”

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