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Sonny Fortune

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July 21, 2001 | DON HECKMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
What's in a name? In the case of saxophonist Sonny Fortune one might assume the presence of good luck. And his resume--which includes close associations with the likes of Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones--suggests that destiny has been on his side. But Fortune, despite his creative successes and the high regard his work has generally received, still hasn't broken through to the top level of public visibility.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 5, 2006 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
It's possible that a group of musicians may have played as many notes and worked as hard as alto saxophonist Sonny Fortune and drummer Rashied Ali did Thursday at the Jazz Bakery. But if they did -- and it's unlikely -- it probably took them a week to do it. Fortune and Ali started their set in modest fashion -- a horn player and a drummer on stage, all by themselves. No bass to provide a foundation; no piano or guitar to add harmonies. Just a couple of guys on their own.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 29, 1993 | LEONARD FEATHER
Sax player Sonny Fortune, making his first local appearance in years with a Tuesday show at Catalina Bar & Grill, was not exactly the Sonny Fortune many listeners expected to hear. The long-winded, Coltranish solo extravaganzas once identified with him were seldom in evidence. Moreover, despite his expressed affinity for the alto saxophone, Fortune made the best impression on flute, which he played on all but the first and last tunes.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 21, 2001 | DON HECKMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
What's in a name? In the case of saxophonist Sonny Fortune one might assume the presence of good luck. And his resume--which includes close associations with the likes of Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones--suggests that destiny has been on his side. But Fortune, despite his creative successes and the high regard his work has generally received, still hasn't broken through to the top level of public visibility.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 25, 1993 | ZAN STEWART, Zan Stewart writes regularly about jazz for The Times
You could say that Sonny Fortune has a case of "alto madness." The musician, 54, will tell you that he's always been an alto saxophonist. But has he? There have been long periods of his life when he has favored the tenor saxophone as his vehicle of expression. Fortune, a native of Philadelphia who has played and recorded with such giants as Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones, comically describes his vacillation as "craziness, a discussion into which logic did not enter."
ENTERTAINMENT
August 5, 2006 | Don Heckman, Special to The Times
It's possible that a group of musicians may have played as many notes and worked as hard as alto saxophonist Sonny Fortune and drummer Rashied Ali did Thursday at the Jazz Bakery. But if they did -- and it's unlikely -- it probably took them a week to do it. Fortune and Ali started their set in modest fashion -- a horn player and a drummer on stage, all by themselves. No bass to provide a foundation; no piano or guitar to add harmonies. Just a couple of guys on their own.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 1996 | BILL KOHLHAASE
Saxophonist Sonny Fortune is the kind of player who kicks it up a notch in live performances. Though his latest releases for the Blue Note label are both solid efforts, the alto saxophonist's appearance Thursday at the Jazz Bakery reached for even more lofty peaks in its improvisational spirit and physical intensity. That the McCoy Tyner-Miles Davis veteran achieved this level in the company of musicians largely unfamiliar with his work made the long, single set even more impressive.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 20, 1986 | LEONARD FEATHER
No question about it: Jazz is on the upswing in this city. From every point of view--quality and quantity of local and imported talent, availability of venues, coverage in the media--conditions are more encouraging than at any time in recent memory. When even the normally dour Ronnie Scott tells you he has had two good years, you know something must be going right.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 17, 1991 | BILL KOHLHAASE
This double CD set--recorded "live" in Japan in 1975 and, until now, only released there--amounts to the trumpeter's swan song before his six-year retirement in the late '70s. Dense and intensely electric, "Pangea" has an urgency driven by double guitars and percussion. The takes are long, and match head-on, devil-may care modal charges with mournful dirges that build to roaring, affirmative climaxes.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 16, 2001 | DON HECKMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
When a relatively low-visibility performer arrives in town preceded by ads that describe him as "The Premier Singer/Instrumentalist in Jazz," expectations are understandably high. We are, after all, speaking of a category that includes, among others, Shirley Horn, Diana Krall, Harry Connick and John Pizzarelli. But that's the way large ads from his record company have described singer/pianist Rick Della-Ratta recently in magazines such as Down Beat.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 1996 | BILL KOHLHAASE
Saxophonist Sonny Fortune is the kind of player who kicks it up a notch in live performances. Though his latest releases for the Blue Note label are both solid efforts, the alto saxophonist's appearance Thursday at the Jazz Bakery reached for even more lofty peaks in its improvisational spirit and physical intensity. That the McCoy Tyner-Miles Davis veteran achieved this level in the company of musicians largely unfamiliar with his work made the long, single set even more impressive.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 29, 1993 | LEONARD FEATHER
Sax player Sonny Fortune, making his first local appearance in years with a Tuesday show at Catalina Bar & Grill, was not exactly the Sonny Fortune many listeners expected to hear. The long-winded, Coltranish solo extravaganzas once identified with him were seldom in evidence. Moreover, despite his expressed affinity for the alto saxophone, Fortune made the best impression on flute, which he played on all but the first and last tunes.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 25, 1993 | ZAN STEWART, Zan Stewart writes regularly about jazz for The Times
You could say that Sonny Fortune has a case of "alto madness." The musician, 54, will tell you that he's always been an alto saxophonist. But has he? There have been long periods of his life when he has favored the tenor saxophone as his vehicle of expression. Fortune, a native of Philadelphia who has played and recorded with such giants as Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones, comically describes his vacillation as "craziness, a discussion into which logic did not enter."
ENTERTAINMENT
April 20, 1986 | LEONARD FEATHER
No question about it: Jazz is on the upswing in this city. From every point of view--quality and quantity of local and imported talent, availability of venues, coverage in the media--conditions are more encouraging than at any time in recent memory. When even the normally dour Ronnie Scott tells you he has had two good years, you know something must be going right.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 10, 2000 | DON HECKMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
It's beginning to look like an alto saxophone showcase month at the Jazz Bakery. Last week, Richie Cole put in a stint with his Alto Madness ensemble. This week a pair of veteran altoists--Frank Morgan and Sonny Fortune--display the attractions of bebop. Morgan, 66, has had a long and checkered career, alternating high-level musical accomplishments with down periods associated with the consequences of hard drug use.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 25, 1992 | ZAN STEWART
There's something almost intoxicating about the dynamic modern music Elvin Jones offers. The drummer's group Jazz Machine can thoroughly uplift the spirit. Beginning a six-night engagement Tuesday at the Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood, the ever-youthful, 64-year-old trapsman once again demonstrated that the drum set is no mere noisemaker but indeed a musical vehicle capable of a myriad of sounds and colors.
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