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Neal Hefti

One of the top jazz arranger/composers of the 1950s, Neal Hefti first wrote charts in the late '30s for Nat Towles. He contributed arrangements to the Earl Hines big band; played trumpet with Charlie Barnet, Horace Heidt, and Charlie Spivak (1942-1943); and toured with Woody Herman's First Herd (1944-1946), marrying Herman's singer Francis Wayne. It was with Herman that Hefti began to get a strong reputation, arranging an updated "Woodchopper's Ball" and "Blowin' Up a Storm," and composing "The Good Earth" and "Wild Root." He also took a notable solo during a Lucky Thompson session on "From Dixieland to Bop." However, Hefti soon relegated his trumpet playing to a secondary status (although he played it on an occasional basis into the 1960s) and concentrated on his writing. He contributed charts to the orchestras of Charlie Ventura (1946), Harry James (1948-1949), and most notably Count Basie (1950-1962). For Basie, he wrote "Little Pony," "Cute," "Li'l Darling," "Whirlybird," and many other swinging songs, often utilizing Frank Wess' flute in inventive fashion. Neal Hefti also led his own bands off and on in the 1950s, but in later years concentrated on writing for films while remaining influenced by his experiences in the jazz world. Hefti passed away at his California home on October 11, 2008, at age 85. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Barefoot In The Park/The Odd Couple (Music From The Motion Pictures)

1. Barefoot In The Park Main Title (Feat. Johnny Mercer)

2. The Honeymoon

3. A New Home Upstairs

4. Six Flights Up

5. Mother's Surprise Visit

6. Presents

7. Cold Visit/Night Visitor

8. Two O'Clock Capers

9. Mom Arrives For Dinner

10. Journey To The Four Winds

11. Shama Shama/Race Up The Stairs

12. Blues For Paul

13. I Warned Her

14. Victor's Downfall

15. Cocktail Juke Box (Girl Talk)/Corie Grows Up/The Search

16. The Search Pt. 2/The Barefoot Stumbler

17. A Nut On The Roof/End Title

18. Barefoot In The Park (Unreleased Rock Version)

19. Barefoot In The Park (Unreleased Lounge Version)

20. The Odd Couple Main Title

21. Suicide Attempt Pt 2

22. Metropole

23. Waterfront Blues

24. Tomatoes

25. Hostile Silence

26. Man Chases Man

27. Left With A Curse

28. End Title

29. The Odd Couple Theme (Instrumental Demo)

30. The Odd Couple Theme (Vocal Demo)

x

Track List: Boeing Boeing

1. Main Title ("Frenchie" Theme From "Boeing Boeing")

2. Vikki (We Are Engaged, Aren't We?)

3. Champagne Promises (Boys Will Be Boys)

4. Blues For Bertha (I'm Not Very Strong)

5. English Breakfast (Good For The Complexion)

6. Senor Boeing (21,000 Pounds Of Thrust)

7. Frenchie (Main Theme From "Boeing Boeing")

8. Champagne Promises (Embracing With The Moon)

9. Bavarian Pipe Dream (Happy Titfalligit-Lugnandeplatz)

10. Fraulien 'D' Cup (The Story That Had To Be Told)

11. More Blues For Bertha (I'll Never Survive This)

12. Girl Chasin' (Rushing Roulette)

x

Track List: Batman Theme and 11 Hefti Bat Songs

1. Batman Theme

2. Evil Plot to Blow Up Batman

3. Sewer Lady

4. The Mafista

5. Holy Diploma, Batman - Straight A's!

6. Eivol Ekdol, the Albanian Genius

7. The Batusi

8. Just a Simple Millionaire

9. My Fine Feathered Finks

10. Mr. Freeze

11. Jervis

12. Batman Chase

x

Track List: Harlow

1. Lonely Girl (Theme Song)

2. The Right One

3. Blues For Jean

4. Bathtub - Saturday Night

5. Waltz For Jeannie

6. Scrambled Eggs

7. Girl Talk

8. Show Time

9. Lonely Girl

10. Voila!

11. Carroll Baker A Go-Go

12. Lonely Girl Bossa Waltz

x

Track List: Pardon My Doo-Wah / Hefti Hot 'n' Hearty

1. Kiss Me First

2. Chug-A-Lug

3. Oh, What A Night For Love

4. Cherry Point

5. Two For The Blues

6. Li'l Darlin'

7. Ready Rudy

8. Buttercup

9. After Supper

10. Coral Reef

11. Splanky

12. Cool Blue

13. Buttercup

14. You Do Something To Me

15. Plymouth Rock

16. Chug-A-Lug

17. Ready Rudy

18. Ev'rything I've Got

19. Scuttlebutt

20. Two For The Blues

21. Perdido

22. Jumpin' Jack

23. Lucky Duck

24. Little Pony

Comments

Report as inappropriate
and yet nary a mention of...Batman?
Report as inappropriate
plousmyth
Thank you so much! He deserved recognition from the Kennedy Center and more. Please add the film score from Harlow if you can.
Report as inappropriate
We still play his charts in my band of old-school swing dance stuff.....Sh i n y Stockings just last night.
Report as inappropriate
Always liked Neal Hefti!
Report as inappropriate
He also wrote Girl Talk
Report as inappropriate
i love Neal Hefti more than i love oxygen
Report as inappropriate
the greatest///

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