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Batman Theme & 19 Hefti Bat Songs

Neal Hefti

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Album Review

Back in 1966, at the height of Batmania, the producers of the hit television show tried to keep interest high during the summer rerun season by releasing an original, feature-length Batman motion picture. Audiences, figuring it for TV episodes stitched together into a movie (à la Man From Uncle) rather than an original script utilizing the TV stars and sets, stayed away in droves. Still, over the years, the Batman feature became something of a fixture on local television matinee movie slots, giving a generation of fans the chance to see Adam West and Burt Ward battling the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, and Catwoman (not to mention a giant rubber shark). Nelson Riddle, creator of the swinging big band sound that shaped the series, returned to duty for the Batman movie, creating a dynamic score that continued to incorporate Neal Hefti's "Batman Theme," as well as the familiar motifs Riddle wrote for the show's central villains. Highlights include "Attack/Take It in Tow," which presents and develops the catchy fight theme, complete with brass hits to accent the "Pows" and "Whams," and Hefti's original "Batman Theme," included as a bonus track. Available exclusively from Film Score Monthly, this CD is a welcome reminder of what made the campy Batman series such a hoot.

Biography

Born: 29 October 1922 in Hastings, NE

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

One of the top jazz arranger/composers of the 1950s, Neal Hefti first wrote charts in the late '30s for Nat Towles. He contributed arrangements to the Earl Hines big band; played trumpet with Charlie Barnet, Horace Heidt, and Charlie Spivak (1942-1943); and toured with Woody Herman's First Herd (1944-1946), marrying Herman's singer Francis Wayne. It was with Herman that Hefti began to get a strong reputation, arranging an updated "Woodchopper's Ball" and "Blowin' Up a Storm," and composing "The Good...
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Batman Theme & 19 Hefti Bat Songs, Neal Hefti
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