"With A Heavy Heart I Regret To Inform You" Dept.:
Innovative jazz composer Neil Hefti passed away at the age of 85 yesterday, apparently of a heart attack.
You're gonna hear a lot about THE ODD COUPLE and BATMAN today, if he's remembered at all.
The first record album I ever owned was the Hefti BATMAN! soundtrack. It was a remaindered copy we bought in a tent sale when I was 3 years old - I remember the milk crates of records and teh way the sun came in through the canvas roof - it's weird the little things you remember about events. Apart from the Top Ten theme song, the record was packed with these great weird little new-sound jazz tracks with titles like "Eivol Ekdol Albanian Genius", "The Sewer Lady", "Holy Diploma - Straight A's!!" and the like. Hefti also wrote the soundtracks to HOW TO MURDER YOUR WIFE (a great, weird, little movie about a newspaper comic cartoonist who's a victim of his own success and desperate for plot ideas), a unconventional Western titled DUEL AT DIABLO, the movie adaptation to OH DAD, POOR DAD, MAMA'S HUNG YOU IN THE CLOSET AND I'M FEELIN' SO SAD starring Bobby Morse & Rosalind Russell (with a particularly weird children's chorus theme song) and probably one of my favourite great weird little movies LORD LOVE A DUCK (about which I've already gone on at length.
Here's DUEL AT DIABLO:
Julie London sings Neil's GIRL TALK:
and here's one of those odd little BATMAN tracks (doesn't seem to go anywhere but it definately creates a mood):
I spoke to his son Paul once while I was researching an eventually uncompleted documentary on Lounge music. Paul was glad to hear I was a fan and asked me to call again sometime when his Dad was around.