After breaking up the band, Jerome went into record producing, and ended up forming a new studio band to release a series of LPs for Decca under the moniker of "Brazen Brass." While Jerome was inspired by the success of Enoch Light's "Persuasive Percussion" album and sound, he deserves credit at least for dumping the sweet sound for something bold, splashy, and, well, brazen. The trademark "brazen" sound was enhanced through stereo by recording an equal number of trumpets on each channel, muted horns on the right and open horns on the left. According to Jerome, the technique was "To have my open brass section on left speaker talk musically to the muted brass section on the right speaker in musical phrases and be able to reverse them which was unheard of in those days and was one of the reasons for its tremendous sale--Worldwide #1 (4 of them in the top 10 at the same time)." Jerome produced and conducted nine Brazen Brass albums for Decca, as well as several more conventional sweet albums, until he left to become an A&R man for Coral in 1959. He released one more "brazen" style album in the late 1960s, for United Artists.
Trumpeter Henry Jerome formed his first orchestra in the mid-1930s. The ten-piece outfit received some notoriety via remote broadcasts on ABC from the Green Room at the Edison Hotel. Early vocalists were David Allen and Frank Warren. Though barely adequate musically Henry Jerome and His Stepping Tones found steady work on the hotel ballroom circuit during the late 1930s and early 1940s. Kay Carlton was vocalist.
Jerome completely reorganized in 1944, modernizing his sound. His new lineup featured bop arrangements, courtesy of Johnny Mandel, which were surprisingly ahead of their time. Of note in Jerome's later line-up was future Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan on bass clarinet and future Nixon-administration White House Counsel Leonard Garment on saxophone. It was this association from Jerome's band that made the two men friends and eventually caused Garment to recommend Greenspan for the job of Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. Nixon later named Greenspan to his current job.
Though Jerome's new sound excited critics it proved too noncommercial, and he disbanded in the late 1940s, becoming musical director at Decca. While there he released a series of popular orchestrated albums called ''Brazen Brass.'' In 1959 he took the position of A&R director at Coral Records, where he worked with a number of early rock and roll groups, including the Rock and Roll Trio and Lenny Dell and the Demensions. During the 1960s Jerome recorded an album on the United Artists label. Jerome also composed the theme songs to two popular television programs, The Soupy Sales Show and Winky-Dink and You.
Henry Jerome Discography
- 77 Writing & Arrangement
- 23 Conducting & Leading
- 127 Production
- 3 Acting, Literary & Spoken
- 2 Management