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Sonny Fortune: You and the Night and the Music

Joel Roberts By

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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 age of sixty-eight—something he also showed in a rousing JVC Jazz Festival warm-up performance in the unlikely setting of New York's Macy's Herald Square, though playing primarily standards for the necessarily eclectic crowd.

Fronting a superb quartet on this disc—George Cables on piano, the terrific Chip Jackson on bass and Steve Johns on drums—Fortune plays a set long on standards ("Sweet Georgia Brown, "Besame Mucho, "The End of a Love Affair ), all of which are delivered with finesse, lyricism and the sharp, reedy tone that's become Fortune's signature. He also proves himself up to the high-energy demands of Dizzy Gillespie's "BeBop, which closes the album on an upbeat note.

While Fortune is known mostly as an alto saxophonist, he also reminds listeners that he's one of the best and most creative flute players in jazz, as evidenced by his gorgeous playing here on "'Round Midnight.

Track Listing: Sweet Georgia Brown; You and the Night and the Music; Charade; Round Midnight; Besame Mucho; Love Song; The End of a Love Affair; For Duke and Cannon; Bebop.

Personnel: Sonny Fortune: sax, flute; George Cable: piano; Chip Jackson: bass; Steve Johns: drums.

Title: You and the Night and the Music | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: 18th & Vine

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