Two for Tuesday: Neal Hefti

Neal Hefti (1922-2008) was a trumpeter, composer, songwriter, arranger, and orchestra leader, known for his charts for the Count Basie Orchestra and for his film and TV scores. He played trumpet and wrote arrangements for Harry James, Charlie Spivak, and Woody Herman. While with Herman’s band, he met and married his wife, Frances Wayne, who was a sinnger with the Herd. He left Herman in 1946 and began composing and arranging full-time, and in 1950 began a twenty-year relationship with the Count Basie Orchestra.

Possibly the best known of Hefti’s songs was the “Theme from Batman.” It’s our first selection today.

Miles Davis once said “if it weren’t for Neal Hefti, the Basie band wouldn’t sound as good as it does. But Neal’s band can’t play those same arrangements nearly as well.” Our second selection is medley of two tunes he wrote and arranged for Basie’s orchestra, “Cute” and “Girl Talk,” performed by Hefti and his orchestra. Sound pretty good to me, actually.

Neal Hefti, you Two for Tuesday, May 27, 2014.