Neal Hefti

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Neal Hefti, New York, circa December 1946.
Photograph by William P. Gottlieb .

Neal Hefti (born October 29, 1922 in Hastings , Nebraska , † October 11, 2008 in Los Angeles , California ) was an American jazz trumpeter, arranger and composer.


Neal Hefti was already writing arrangements for Nat Towles and Earl Hines in the late 1930s . From 1942–43 he was a trumpeter with Charlie Barnet , Horace Heidt and Charlie Spivak , before joining Woody Hermans Band ( First Herd ) in 1944 . Here he made a name for himself as an arranger ( Woodchopper's Ball , Blowin 'Up a Storm ) and composer ( The Good Earth and Wild Root ).

Hefti married Hermans singer Frances Wayne in 1948 and went to Hollywood with her . He then toured with Harry James and formed his own band in 1951 with Wayne as the singer, which he disbanded in 1953.

In the following years he arranged and composed in particular for Count Basie ( Little Pony , Cute , Li'l Darlin ' , Whirlybird , The Atomic Mr. Basie ), Tex Beneke and for Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey (including Moonlight in Vermont , Charmaine ). Since the 1960s he has emerged as a film and television composer. In the 1950s and 1960s he recorded some studio albums, in 1962 with Sinatra the albums Sinatra and Swingin 'Brass and Sinatra-Basie: An Historic Musical First . His best-known pieces are probably the title music for the television series Batman and Männerwirtschaft ( The Odd Couple ) with Jack Klugman and Tony Randall .

Hefti has been nominated for a Grammy several times and has received the award three times: twice as a composer for Count Basie and once as the composer of the TV series Batman .


Neal Hefti

Discography (selection)

  • The Band With Young Ideas
  • Concert Miniatures
  • Hefti, Hot and Hearty , 1955
  • Hefti in Gotham City
  • Neal Hefti's Singing Instrumentals
  • Hollywood Songbook
  • Jazz Pops , 1962
  • Left and Right , 1956
  • Li'l Darlin ' , 1964
  • Music USA
  • Pardon my Doo-Wah , 1954
  • Presenting Neal Hefti and His Orchestra
  • A Salute to the Instruments


Web links