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Jazz Articles

LIVE REVIEWS

Swingin' In The Rain: Portland Jazz Festival 2016

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Sonny Fortune and Azar Lawrence Jimmy Mak'sPDX Jazz FestivalPortland, OR February 18-19, 2016 Any American burg that aspires to “great city" status has got to have a solid jazz scene. Sorry, but hipster hat shops, artisanal juiceries, and $6 coffee from beans grown on sustainable farms in Africa and Latin America just wont do. Portland, the Rose City of the rugged Northwest, is one of those aspirational cities. And after a ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Sonny Fortune at Lancaster Avenue Jazz Festival, Philadelphia

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Sonny Fortune Quartet Ninth Annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz Festival Philadelphia, PA July 18, 2015 It isn't often that you're going to hear a jazz legend like saxophonist Sonny Fortune at an inner city vest pocket park festival featuring mostly young lions and R&B groups, but in this case, at Saunders Park Green in Philadelphia's Powelton Village, Fortune was a local boy come home, and it was a sentimental thrill to see and hear this ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sonny Fortune: Last Night At Sweet Rhythm

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sonny Fortune: Last Night at Sweet Rhythm

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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 ...

PROFILES

Sonny Fortune: Thank God For That Day Job

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sonny Fortune: You and the Night and the Music

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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, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sonny Fortune: You and the Night and the Music

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ernst Bier, Matthias Bštzel and Karl Schloz with Sonny Fortune: Live at the A-Trane

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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 ...


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