Neal Hefti, R.I.P.

Jazz trumpeter and soundtrack composer Neal Hefti died in Los Angeles, it was reported this morning. Hefti wrote, arranged, and played in big bands with such major names as Count Basie and Woody Herman, and he also arranged for Frank Sinatra and worked in film. But it’s his work for the small screen that is best remembered. Hefti is responsible for two of the catchiest songs ever written: the theme to The Odd Couple, which was originally used in the movie and then (see above) repurposed to great effect on the ABC sitcom version; and the first song Prince ever learned to play on piano, which we’ve placed after the jump. Hefti was 83.

Neal Hefti, the American jazz trumpeter, dies in LA [Telegraph]

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