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Musician

Neal Hefti

Born:

Neal Hefti was an American jazz trumpeter, composer, tune writer, and arranger. He was perhaps best known for composing the theme music for the Batman television series of the 1960s, and for scoring the 1968 film The Odd Couple and the subsequent TV series of the same name. 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".

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Article: Album Review

NYO Jazz: We're Still Here

Read "We're Still Here" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The “NYO" in NYO Jazz is shorthand for National Youth Orchestra, a marvelous concept that should be cloned and shipped to as many cities, towns and villages as possible. NYO, comprising carefully chosen musicians, ages 16 to 19, from across the U.S.A. is based at Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute in New York City, and We're ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Shirley Scott, McCoy Tyner, PUNKT.VRT.PLASTIK, Cecile McLorin Salvant and, well, much more

Read "Shirley Scott, McCoy Tyner, PUNKT.VRT.PLASTIK, Cecile McLorin Salvant and, well, much more" reviewed by David Brown


This week, a smokin' Shirley Scott side plus a tribute to McCoy Tyner. We'll spin tracks from modern jazz luminaries Ambrose Akinmusire, Kris Davis and Gerald Cleaver who are touring as Treefoil. Then, we'll hear arrangers Neal Hefti, Ralph Berns and Dizzy Gillespie in action, and finally new works from Cecile McLorin Salvant, Melissa Aldana, Punkt. ...

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Article: Profile

Johnathan Blake: un batterista ai vertici

Read "Johnathan Blake: un batterista ai vertici" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Accolto tra i lavori migliori dell'anno dalle massime riviste internazionali Homeward Bound, è il quarto disco di Johnathan Blake e il debutto con l'etichetta Blue Note. L'album ha finalmente evidenziato le doti di compositore e leader del 45enne batterista di Philadelphia, figlio del violinista John Blake Jr., noto partner di McCoy Tyner, Archie Shepp, James Newton, ...

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Article: Album Review

Andy Farber and His Orchestra: Early Blue Evening

Read "Early Blue Evening" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Saxophonist Andy Farber's New York-based orchestra came together and cut its teeth as the onstage band for three hundred performances of After Midnight, a Broadway revue that paid tribute to Jazz Age nightclub luminaries from Duke Ellington, Jimmie Lunceford and Count Basie to Harold Arlen, Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh. As one might presume from the ...

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Article: History of Jazz

Clifford Brown’s Trumpet and One Summer in Atlantic City

Read "Clifford Brown’s Trumpet and One Summer in Atlantic City" reviewed by Arthur R George


For 22-year-old trumpeter Clifford Brown, the summer of 1953 in jny: Atlantic City, New Jersey, was transformative. Playing with bebop elders, he cumulatively opened the door for what came next: a groove-oriented swinging style, in which small groups used structured arrangements like big bands, with room for improvisation, but less frenzy. It became known as hard ...

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Article: Album Review

Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band: Soul Conversations

Read "Soul Conversations" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Drummer Ulysses Owens Jr.'s Big Band comes out swinging on its debut recording, Soul Conversations, thundering through Michael Dease's incendiary arrangement of the Dizzy Gillespie/John Lewis flame-thrower, “Two Bass Hit." For more such heat, however, the listener must move forward to Track 5, John Coltrane's impulsive “Giant Steps," thence to Track 9 for Charles Turner III's ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Eddie Sauter: A Wider Focus

Read "Eddie Sauter: A Wider Focus" reviewed by Chris May


For many people, composer and arranger Eddie Sauter's reputation begins and ends with Stan Getz's Focus (Verve, 1962). The album is, indeed, a masterpiece. But it is only one of the pinnacles of Sauter's career, which started during the swing era. Nor is Focus Sauter's only collaboration with Getz. The partnership continued with the less widely ...

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Article: Album Review

The Len Pierro Jazz Orchestra: The Third Quarter

Read "The Third Quarter" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Any big-band album that opens with a rollicking Four Brothers-style saxophone soli is all but guaranteed to capture one's ear and interest. As it turns out, the buoyant “Fill in the Gap," on which the sax section sparkles, is but the first of many sonic delights on The Third Quarter, a marvelous new CD by Philadelphia-based ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Jazz & Film: An Alternative Top 20 Soundtrack Albums

Read "Jazz & Film: An Alternative Top 20 Soundtrack Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Jazz and the movies have a shared history stretching back almost a hundred years. The relationship came into its own in the US in the mid twentieth century. Elia Kazan's 1950 movie Panic In The Streets is an early example of how film makers used jazz-based soundtracks to enhance drama and atmosphere and create ambiances of ...


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