Neal Hefti at the Movies

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Like Henry Mancini, arranger-composer Neal Hefti turned to the movies for work in the 1960s and beyond. Best known in the '50s for updating the swing of Count Basie's band, Hefti wrote movie scores in the '60s that were distinctly jaunty, jovial and wistful They crystallized the young-adult mood of those years. He knew how to write simple, catchy melodies and bring strings together with horns and reeds in a way that kept the music hip and light. [Photo above of Neal Hefti in the early 1960s]

While Mancini's scores were always distinctly West Coast, Hefti's film music always sounded like New York. Many of the movies Hefti scored were mating-game comedies that took place in Manhattan townhouses. Here are my favorites Hefti movie themes... 

Here's Sex and the Single Girl (1964)...



Here's How to Murder Your Wife (1965)...



Here's Boeing Boeing (1965)...



Here's Girl Talk from Harlow (1965)...



Here's Synanon (1965)...



Here's Dual at Diablo (1966)...



Here's Barefoot in the Park (1967)...



Here's The Odd Couple (1968)...



And here's a cover of Hefti's theme to P.J. (1968)...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved.

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