Surely as Jim Bowie or Jim Bridger, Mrs. Johnson’s son Jimmy was an American pioneer, cutting his way through uncharted forests of primeval bebop. He followed the changes blazed by Prez among the reeds, taking a trombone out of the safety of big bands and sliding into little combos exploring the frontiers of sound.
The cool cats howled, “How you gonna plunge that deep without a valve, how you gonna match the tempo of the train without a key?” But J. J. Johnson took the road to the coast and back, riding the trail beside Sonny Stitt and Bud Powell. In 1954, he started walkin’ with Miles Davis.
And they all changed their tune, saying, “J is for Jazz! Blow from the Blue Ridge and play across the plains. Make that trombone moan like an autumn wind high in the lonesome treetops!”
Posted for dVerse Jazzing it up on Prosery Monday on Jul 20, 2020 by lillian. The prompt required use of a quotation from “Jazz Fantasia” by Carl Sandburg, in this case “Make that trombone moan like an autumn wind high in the lonesome treetops”