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November 1998

Jerry Jerome
Something Old, Something New

Something Old is an autobiography-by-CD, with Jerome's interesting spoken commentary and excellent performances by a Who's Who of Swing-Era stars. Jerome joined Harry Reser's Cliquot Club Eskimos in 1936, and was "jazz tenor" with Glenn Miller, red Norvo, Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw aggregations. He left the road in 1941, for club dates, 52nd Street gigs, Moe Asch recordings, NBC studio bands, and the jingles business. Stand-out tracks include a jam session with Charlie Christian and a 17-year-old Oscar Pettiford; a relaxed-but swinging trio: Teddy Wilson, drummer Specs Powell, and Jerome, sounding characteristically Prez-ish; Henry "Red" Allen shouting "Nice!" blues in praise of Ballantine Ale; and a Miller beer jingle enriched by the singing trombone of Tyree Glenn.

Something New is Jerome's first jazz album if forty years, with easy-blowing tunes from the Swing repertoire. The solid 4/4 of Dick Hyman, piano; Bucky Pizzarelli, guitar; Bob Haggart, bass and Joe Ascione, drums, provide airborn momentum; and Randy Sandke, trumpet and George Masso, trombone, add tasty lyricism. Dr. Billy Taylor says, "Music keeps us young!" Must be so: Jerome, born in 1912, sounds simply splendid!

Originally published in November 1998
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