Been musing, this unfine morning, about trains and rivers, and destinies and obligations and life-stories and desires and tennis and, of course, Terry Thomas.. A quick trawl through Youtube reveals that both my favourite Terry moments are now on there..
Can’t for the life of me imagine how, in all my yaddering on here about music and composers generally, and film soundtrack composers specifically, I’ve signally failed to mention the great Neal Hefti, the unchallenged master of that hyper-elegant Manhattan sound. The Odd Couple is, I suppose, his signature work but this one is my favourite. That moment when Terry bends to pick up the mail at the front door, and those velvet horns come sweeping in.. that’s the sound of a New York I was desperate to experience. Of course it had already disappeared long before I finally managed to get myself there, if it had ever actually existed in the first place..
…and, inevitably, the greatest tennis match in the history of the game. From School for Scoundrels, Terry dispatches Ian Carmichael in fine style. How can so much laughter be generated in me just by one man repeatedly uttering the phrase “Hard Cheese!”? Sublime..