Label: Musidisc - 30 JA 5204 • Series: Jazz Anthology - JA 5204 • Format: Vinyl LP, Compilation • Country: France • Genre: Jazz •
Neal Paul Hefti October 29, — October 11, was an American jazz trumpeter, composer, and arranger. 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 Cute - Count Basie - The Soloist 1941/1959 new arrangements for " Woodchopper's Ball " and "Blowin' Up a Storm" and composed "The Good Earth" and "Wild Root".
After leaving Herman's band inHefti concentrated on arranging and composing, although he occasionally led his own A La Sombra De Mi Sombra - Extrechinato Y Tú - Poesia Basica. He started playing the trumpet in school at the age of eleven, and by high school was spending his summer vacations playing in local territory bands to help his family make ends meet.
Growing up in, and near, a big city like OmahaHefti was exposed to some of the great bands and trumpeters of the Southwest territory bands. He also was able to see some of the virtuoso jazz musicians from New York that came through Omaha on tour. His early influences all came from the North Omaha scene. He said. I was impressed by those three trumpet players of the people I saw in person These experiences seeing Gillespie and Basie play in Omaha foreshadowed his period in New York watching Gillespie play and develop the music of bebop on 52nd Street and his later involvement with Count Basie's band.
Inwhile still a junior at North High in Omaha, he got his start in the music industry by writing arrangements of vocal ballads for local Mickey Mouse bands, like the Nat Towles band. Two days before his high school graduation ceremony inhe got an offer to go on tour with the Dick Barry band, so he traveled with them to New Jersey. He quickly was fired from the band after two gigs because he could not sight-read music well enough. Stranded in New Jersey because he did not have enough money to get home to Nebraska, he finally joined Bob Astor 's band.
Shelly Mannedrummer with Bob Astor at the time, recalled that even then Hefti's writing skills were quite impressive:. We roomed together. And at night we didn't have nothing to do, and we were up at this place — Budd Lake. He said, "What are we going to do tonight? It was the end. Cooking charts.
I never forget, I couldn't believe it. I kept watching him. It was fantastic. Hefti would not focus on arranging seriously for a few more years. As a member of Astor's band, he concentrated on playing Cute - Count Basie - The Soloist 1941/1959 . After an injury forced him to leave Bob Astor, he stayed a while in New York. He played with Bobby Byrne in latethen with Charlie Barnet for whom he wrote the classic arrangement of "Skyliner".
Since he didn't have the money to actually go into the clubs, he would sneak into the kitchen and hang out with the bands, and he got to know many of the great beboppers. When he returned from Cuba inhe joined the Charlie Spivak band, which led him out to California for the first time, to make a band picture.
Hefti fell in love with California. After making the picture in Los Angeles, he dropped out of the Spivak band to stay in California. After playing with Horace Heidt in Los Angeles for a few months inHefti met up with Woody Herman who was out in California making a band picture. Hefti then joined Herman's progressive First Herd band as a trumpeter. He referred to it as his first experience with a real jazz band. He said:. I would say that I got into jazz when I got into Woody Herman's band because that band was sorta jazz-oriented.
They had records. It was the first band I ever joined where the musicians carried records on the road Duke Ellington records That's the first time I sort Cute - Count Basie - The Soloist 1941/1959 got into jazz. The first time I sort of felt that I was anything remotely connected with jazz.
Even though he had been playing with swing bands and other popular music bands for five years, this was the first time he had been immersed in the music of Duke Ellington, and this was the first music that really felt Youre In Love Again - The Bigger Lovers - Honey In The Hive jazz to him.
First Herd was one of the first big bands to really embrace bebop. They incorporated the use of many bebop ideas in their music. As part of the ensemble, Hefti was instrumental Winter Wonderland - Various - Childrens Christmas Party 1977 this development, drawing from his experiences in New York and his respect for Gillespie, who had his own bebop big band.
Chubby Jackson, First Herd's bassist, said. Neal started to write some of his ensembles with some of the figures that come from that early bebop thing. We were really one of the first bands outside of Dizzy's big band that flavored bebop into the big band — different tonal quality and rhythms, and the drum feeling started changing, and that I think was really the beginning of it I fell in love with it, and I finally got into playing it with the big band because Neal had it down.
Neal would write some beautiful things along those patterns. During these years with Herman's band, as they started to turn more and more towards bop ideas, Hefti started to turn more of his attention and effort to writing, at which he quickly excelled.
He composed and arranged some of First Herd's most popular recordings, including two of the band's finest instrumentals: "Wild Root" and "The Good Earth".
Krestu Tvoyemu - Troparion To The Holy Cross - The Choir Of The Russian Orthodox Cathedral, London*, contributed to the band a refinement of bop trumpet style that reflected his experience with Byrne, Barnet, and Spivak, as well as an unusually imaginative mind, essentially restless on the trumpet, but beautifully grounded on manuscript paper.
His first hand experience in New York, hanging around 52nd Street and listening to the great Cute - Count Basie - The Soloist 1941/1959 Gillespie, became an important resource to the whole band.
His bebop composition work also started to attract outside attention from other composers, including the interest of neo-classicist Igor Stravinskywho later wrote "Ebony Concerto" for the band.
What first attracted Stravinsky to Herman was the five trumpet unison on "Caldonia," which mirrored the new music of Gillespie First it had been [Neal Hefti's] solo on Herman's " Woodchopper's Ball ", then it became the property of the whole section, and finally, in this set form, it was made part of [Hefti's] arrangement of "Caldonia.
Hefti's work successfully drew from many sources. As composer, arranger, and as a crucial part of the Herman ensemble, he provided the Herman band with a solid base which led to their popularity and mastery of the big band bebop style.
Playing with the band was very enjoyable for Hefti, which made it doubly hard for him to leave when he wanted to pursue arranging and composing full-time.
Talking about Herman's band, Hefti said. The band was a lot of fun. I think there was great rapport between the people in it. And none of us wanted to leave. We were always getting sort of offers from other bands for much more money than we were making with Woody, and it was always like if you left, you were a rat. You were really letting down the team. The Heftis finally left Woody Herman in lateand Neal began freelance arranging. He wrote charts for Buddy Rich 's band, and the ill-fated Billy Butterfield band.
Cute - Count Basie - The Soloist 1941/1959 wrote a few arrangements and compositions for George Auld 's band, including the outstanding composition "Mo Mo. He also arranged for the best of Harry James 's bands in the late s. One of the serendipitous highlights of his work in the late s was the recording of his Cuban-influenced song "Repetition" using a big band and string orchestra, for an anthology album called The Jazz Scene intended to showcase the best jazz artists around at Tears In My Ears - Charlie Singleton - Modern Man time.
What saved this otherwise uncharacteristically bland arrangement was the featuring of Charlie Parker as soloist. Hefti had written the piece with no soloist in mind, but Parker was in the studio while Hefti was recording, heard the arrangement, and asked to be included as soloist. In the liner notes to the album, producer Norman Granz wrote:. Parker actually plays on Cute - Count Basie - The Soloist 1941/1959 of the original arrangement; that it jells as well as it does is a tribute both to the flexible arrangement of Hefti and the inventive genius of Parker to adapt himself to any musical surrounding.
Although the New Testament band never became a show band in that sense, it was much more of an ensemble band than Basie's previous orchestras. Hefti's tight, well-crafted arrangements resulted in a new band identity that was maintained for more than twenty years.
Neal came by, and we had a talk, and he said he'd just like to put something in the book. Hefti's compositions and arrangements featured and recorded by the orchestra established the distinctive, tighter, modern sound of the later Basie. Basie said, "There is something of his on each one of those first albums of that new band. These pieces are evidence of both Hefti's masterful hand, and the strong ensemble that Count Basie had put together.
During the s, Hefti did not get as much respect as a musician and band leader as he did as composer and arranger. In a interview, Miles Davis 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. In the liner notes to Atomic Basiecritic Barry Ulanov says:. Message In A Dream - Vinnie Moore - Time Odyssey a presentation of the Count Basie band notable of its justness, for its attention to all the rich instrumental talent and all the high good taste of this band — in this presentation, not the least of the achievements is Cute - Count Basie - The Soloist 1941/1959 evenness of the manuscript.
Neal Hefti has matched — figure for figure, note for note-blower — his talent to the Basie band's, and it comes out, as it should, Basie. Much the same way that the influential Duke Ellington matched his scores to the unique abilities of his performers, Hefti was able to take advantage of the same kind of 'fine-tuning' to bring out the best of the talents of the Basie band.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that when the same charts are played by a different band, even the composer's own, that the result is not as strong. As composer, Hefti garnered many accolades.
This second album was also very successful for Basie. Basie recalled:. That is the one that came out under the title of "Basie Plays Hefti". All the tunes were very musical. That's the way Cute - Count Basie - The Soloist 1941/1959 things were, and those guys in that band always had something to put with whatever you laid in front of them. Hefti's Cute - Count Basie - The Soloist 1941/1959 on the Basie sound was so successful, his writing for the band so strong, that Basie used his arranging talents even when recording Costa Del Bronzer - Various - Archive Jet Set Vacations jazz tunes with the likes of Frank Sinatra.
Basie said. So we went on out to Los Angeles and did ten tunes in two four-hour sessions [with Frank Sinatra].
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