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Sonny Fortune Quartet
Kitano Jazz Club, New York - 16th May 2009
by Roberta E. Zlokower

Fai click qui per leggere la versione in italiano


Sonny Fortune - Saxophone
Michael Cochrane
- Piano
David Williams
- Bass
Steve Johns
- Drums

The Kitano New York
And 441 Records
(Kitano NY Jazz Lounge)
66 Park Avenue @38th Street
New York, NY

Produced by Gino Moratti

azz at The Kitano New York is presented Wednesday through Saturday nights, and tonight's Sonny Fortune Quartet raised the roof. Sonny Fortune, who can play alto, soprano, tenor, and baritone saxes, as well as clarinet and flute, is going strong after decades of performance in concerts and recordings. He has played with Elvin Jones, Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner, and George Benson, among numerous artists, and more recently with his own band, tonight's ensemble. Michael Cochrane was on piano, David Williams on bass, and Steve Johns on drums. I was joined for this second set by Marco Losavio, Publisher of JazzItalia.net, who was in New York to catch some jazz.

The set opened with Sonny Fortune on soprano sax for Henry Mancini's "Charade". Echoing notes on sax extended this gorgeous melody, in between Fortune's atonal flourishes and brassy melancholy. While Michael Cochrane and David Williams kept the piano and bass uncluttered, Fortune took the ballad to a stormy level. Well into the piece, Cochrane took the lead in rich, steady keyboard rhythms. At one point, Jackson seized the theme on bass, breaking up musical segments, while Fortune's sax played clean, clear ornamentations. "You and the Night and the Music" was next, with Fortune now on powerful tenor sax. This band had enthusiasm, and it showed in this ballad. A roller-coaster of sound ensued, expanded by Steve Johns' pulsating percussion. Jackson's buoyant bass joined Cochrane's jazzy piano, and then Johns took a solo drum riff, embellishing the keyboard rhythms with rapidly swirling tempos.

"Awakening", from Fortune's Blue Note "Trilogy Collection", had Fortune on flute, and this exotic song was evocative of birds awakening, in jazzy-new age fusion. Johns added some whistling effects, and Cochrane enriched the sound with repetitive chords, for an upbeat, ethereal harmony. Fortune's flute created an echoing refrain. The backup kept shifting, from rhythmic piano accompaniment, to an eerie bell, to a wooden shaker, before Fortune ended the piece in whispering notes, highs and lows. Miles Davis' "All Blues" brought out Fortune's tenor sax again, and this is when he let it all go. Fortune's facial muscled popped with passion, and he ended on ever-lowering notes that finally grew still.

Gino Moratti & Sonny Fortune
MArco Losavio & Sonny Fortune

photo courtesy by Roberta E. Zlokower

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Publishing Date: 21/07/2009

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