Sonny Fortune

Sonny Fortune

Sonny Fortune in Aoupril 2007
Background information
Born (1939-05-19) May 19, 1939
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Origin New York City
Genres Soul jazz, jazz rock, jazz funk, modal jazz, Afro-Cuban jazz, jazz fusion, jazz
Occupation(s) Teacher, musician
Instruments Alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute, clarinet
Years active 1966–present
Labels Prestige, Strata-East, Horizon, Atlantic

Sonny Fortune (born May 19, 1939) is a US jazz alto saxophonist and flautist. He also plays soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone and clarinet.[1]


After moving to New York City in 1967 Fortune recorded and appeared live with drummer Elvin Jones's group. In 1968 he was a member of Mongo Santamaría's band. He subsequently performed with singer Leon Thomas, and with pianist McCoy Tyner (1971–73).[1]

In 1974 Fortune replaced Dave Liebman in Miles Davis's ensemble, remaining until spring 1975, when he was succeeded by Sam Morrison. Fortune can be heard on the albums Big Fun, Get Up With It, Agharta and Pangaea, the last two recorded live in Japan.[1]

Fortune joined Nat Adderley after his brief tenure with Davis, and then went on to form his own group in June 1975, recording two albums for the Horizon (A&M) label. During the 1990s, he recorded several acclaimed albums for the Blue Note label. He has also performed with Roy Brooks, Buddy Rich, George Benson, Rabih Abou Khalil, Roy Ayers, Oliver Nelson, Gary Bartz, Rashied Ali and Pharoah Sanders, as well as appearing on the live album The Atlantic Family Live at Montreux (1977).[1]


As leader

As sideman

With Rabih Abou-Khalil

With Nat Adderley

With Gary Bartz

With George Benson

With Miles Davis

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Elvin Jones

With Charles Mingus

With Alphonse Mouzon

With Pharoah Sanders

With Melvin Sparks

With Leon Spencer

With Charles Sullivan

With McCoy Tyner

With Mal Waldron

With Mongo Santamaría



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