Neal Hefti » Music » Hefti Hot 'n Hearty

Hefti Hot 'n Hearty


Epic 1956

Composed, Arranged, Conducted by NEAL HEFTI


You Do Something To Me

Plymouth Rock


Ready Rudy

Ev'rything I've Got


Two For the Blues


Jumpin' Jack

Lucky Duck

Little Pony

Twelve handsome blows are struck in the cause of modern music, in this collection by Neal Hefti and his Orchestra. By modern, of course, one should interpret music of a kind that explores and uses the patterns and colors of today’s livelier ideas, and that also retains the old-fashioned basis of firm, swinging tempos and recognizable tunes. For some years now Neal Hefti has been in the forefront of arrangers, composers and conductors, and has supplied some of the most delightful and interesting orchestrations and originals around. In this grouping, he is heard in all three of his roles and indeed, only three of the numbers were written by other composers. The result is a tasty sampling indeed, hot and Hefti from start to finish.

The three other composers who work their way in, do so via some solid standards of musical attainment. Cole Porter is first, with You Do Something to Me, followed by Richard Rodgers and Ev’rything I’ve Got and, in the second half of the collection, Juan Tizol with his now-classic Perdido. Otherwise, the listener is treated to a generous helping of pure Hefti, and some measure of its quality may be gauged by remembering that this is the man who was responsible for such great Woody Herman compositions and arrangements as Caldonia, Wildroot, Apple Honey, The Good Earth, and Northwest Passage.

Neal Hefti was born in 1922, in Hastings, Nebraska. His first musical instrument was the trumpet, which he began studying in the sixth grade, enlivening the high school band and orchestra. As a soloist, he was a consistent winner in interstate school trumpet competitions, and got in some hearty practice in the summer by playing with carnivals. His first big-time break came when he was signed to play with Charlie Barnet when he was in his early twenties. Turning his hand to arranging, he either played with or scored for Muggsy Spanier, Earl Hines and Bobby Byrne, among others, and for some time played with Charlie Spivak’s orchestra. He also scored the movie, “Pin Up Girl.”

In 1944 he joined the Herman Herd, and began the string of classic arrangements and compositions that made him famous. Moving to Los Angeles, he became a radio network staff musician, playing with Bob Chester and Frank DeVol, and then returned to the Herman group. During this period, he married Frances Wayne, who was then vocalist with the Herman band, and sings with her husband’s orchestra (although not in this collection). Since that time, he has arranged for motion pictures, recording studios and radio stations, and after contributing a number of superior orchestrations and compositions to the Harry James group, he moved to New York in 1949 to take up television work. In 1951, he and Miss Wayne headed the Hefti-Wayne Orchestra, and in 1954 he brought his group to Epic Records, Turning out the best selling “Singing Instrumentals” collection.