Jellyfish plumes of toxic smoke may no longer hover in the air, but clinking glasses, persistent waiters and the intermittent roaring of drink mixers still conspire to diminish a jazz lover's listening pleasure at a live nightclub performance. Yet, somehow, spontaneous improvisation--the lifeblood of jazz--and the intimate interactions among the musicians and the audience, combine in clubs around the world to consistently conjure sonic magic on the bandstand.
Reed and flute master Sonny Fortune's incendiary blowin' style is especially potent live, as evidenced by his work on albums including Miles Davis' Agharta (Columbia, 1975) and Elvin Jones' Jazz ...read more
A few months ago, in 2009, reedman Sonny Fortune brought his quartet into the late Greenwich Village club to cut his first live recording as a leader. The performance captured on Last Night at Sweet Rhythm shows, as Fortune moves into his seventies, that his playing is as innovative, daring and fiery as ever. The set list can be viewed as a kind of retrospective, originals culled from various periods in Fortune's career. He goes for the downs from the first notes of the opener, It Ain't What It Was," blowing his alto with cleverness and abandon. ...read more
With an auspicious name like Sonny Fortune, could there be any doubt that this man would find success and fulfillment down whatever path he chose to follow in life. Fortune-ately for jazz lovers, he focused his talent and energy on the saxophone.
Fortune's destiny began at the beguine-ing; he was born at the right time, May 19, 1939, and at the right place, Philadelphia. While the City of Brotherly Love has been considered a second-tier jazz city by some, Philly indisputably gave birth to and nurtured a long list of great musicians , many of whom ...read more
From the generation of post-bop saxophonists following in the shadow of John Coltrane, multi-instrumentalist Sonny Fortune comes closest to capturing Coltrane's spirit and intensity. Since the late 1960s, Fortune has made an indelible mark on jazz history, collaborating with Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis and Mongo Santamaria, among other luminaries. Despite his numerous side-man appearances and a fertile solo career, he remains a respected but unsung hero of the jazz cognoscenti.
Dominated by standards and traditional tunes, You and the Night and the Music is a rarity in his oeuvre. The majority of Fortune's discography concentrates on ...read more
While he's been overshadowed by other saxophonists throughout much of his career, Sonny Fortune has been an important force in jazz for many years, playing in a style that owes much to John Coltrane and was showcased in the bands of Coltrane's key collaborators, Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner--as well as in a stint with Miles Davis in the 1970s. Fortune's You and The Night and The Music shows the Philadelphia-born Fortune in fine form at the age of sixty-eight--something he also showed in a rousing JVC Jazz Festival warm-up performance in the unlikely setting of New ...read more
Five extended compositions recorded Live at the A-Trane in Berlin, Germany over two nights in 2005 present altoist/flutist Sonny Fortune in the company of a soulful B3 trio. Fortune's alto is still searing, with a tone and style that work quite well in this context, exposing his Philly R&B roots. His career of over forty years and powerful harmonic wah-wahing technique has seen him hook up with the best: trumpeter Miles Davis, drummers Elvin Jones and Buddy Rich, pianist McCoy Tyner and percussionist Mongo Santamaria.
His German bandmates for this date are up to the difficult task of keeping pace ...read more
Sonny Fortune Trilogy Collection Sound Reason 2006
Jazz is blessed by the music of alto saxophonist and flutist Sonny Fortune, a living master who always plays directly from the heart. In addition to his work with Miles Davis, Buddy Rich, Elvin Jones, Nat Adderley, and Mongo Santamaria, over the years Fortune has led many dates of his own. He considers his three mid-90s Blue Note releases to be among his most significant recorded work to date, and he's just re-released them on his own label as Trilogy Collection. All three were produced by Fortune ...read more