Wednesday, October 15, 2008
NEAL HEFTI (October 29, 1922 – October 11, 2008)
One of the first soundtracks I bought years ago was "Lord Love A Duck" by Neal Hefti. I enjoyed the quirkiness of this score, and from that point on, I was hooked-on-Hefti!
Neal was right up there with the best pop-jazz composers of the time.
I'm so saddened to hear of his passing, and my condolences are with his family and friends.
He began arranging professionally in his teens, when he wrote charts for Nat Towles. He became a prominent composer and arranger while playing trumpet for Woody Herman; while working for Herman he provided new arrangements for "Woodchopper's Ball" and "Blowin' Up a Storm," and composed "The Good Earth" and "Wild Root." After leaving Herman's band in 1946, Hefti concentrated on arranging and composing, although he occasionally led his own bands. He is especially known for his charts for Count Basie such as "Li'l Darlin'" and "Cute".
In the 1960s and later he composed and arranged mainly for movies and television. He wrote the background music for movies such as Sex and the Single Girl, How to Murder Your Wife, Synanon, Boeing Boeing, Harlow, Lord Love a Duck, Duel at Diablo, Oh Dad Poor Dad Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad, and Barefoot in the Park.
His best-known contributions of this period are the themes for the TV series Batman and The Odd Couple.
Posted by tony at 1:46 PM