Saxophone Forum

by RobertD
(73 posts)
6 years ago

Sonny Fortune, Saxophonist of Urgency and Grace, Dies at 79

RIP to another jazz legend.

Sonny Fortune, Saxophonist of Urgency and Grace, Dies at 79

By Giovanni Russonello

  • Nov. 1, 2018

"Sonny Fortune, a saxophonist whose incandescent improvisations made him an essential member of bands led by some of jazz’s most illustrious figures as well as a respected bandleader, died on Oct. 25 in Manhattan. He was 79.

His son, Duane, confirmed the death, at Mount Sinai Hospital, and said the cause was complications of a stroke.

Mr. Fortune was known for his mix of urgency and grace, and his stalwart command — not just of the alto saxophone, his primary instrument, but also of the flute, clarinet, and soprano, tenor and baritone saxophones. He made his biggest impact as a sideman with the likes of Miles Davis, Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner and Mongo Santamaria.

But from early in his career he also proved himself to be a gifted leader whose original music comfortably corralled many of the sounds of 1970s New York: straight-ahead jazz, jittery funk fusion, the pan-African avant-garde and salsa dura (hard salsa)."



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