Sonny Fortune

Cornelius "Sonny" Fortune (May 19, 1939 – October 25, 2018) was an American jazz saxophonist. Fortune played soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones, clarinet, and flute.

Sonny Fortune
Sonny Fortune, April 2007
Background information
Birth nameCornelius Fortune
Born(1939-05-19)May 19, 1939
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S
DiedOctober 25, 2018(2018-10-25) (aged 79)
New York City, New York, U.S.
GenresJazz, free jazz, jazz fusion
InstrumentsSaxophone, flute, clarinet
Years active1966–2018
LabelsPrestige, Strata-East, Horizon, Atlantic, Blue Note


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 performed with singer Leon Thomas, and with pianist McCoy Tyner (1971–73). 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, then formed his own group in June 1975, recording two albums for the Horizon Records. During the 1990s, he recorded several albums for Blue Note. 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]

Fortune died at the age of 79 in October 2018.[2]


As leader

  • 1966: Trip on the Strip with Stan Hunter (Prestige)
  • 1974: Long Before Our Mothers Cried (Strata-East)
  • 1975: Awakening (Horizon)
  • 1976: Waves of Dreams (Horizon)
  • 1977: Serengeti Minstrel (Atlantic)
  • 1978: Infinity Is (Atlantic)
  • 1979: With Sound Reason (Atlantic)
  • 1984: Laying It Down (Konnex)
  • 1987: Invitation (WhyNot)
  • 1991: It Ain't What It Was (Konnex)
  • 1993: Monk's Mood (Konnex)
  • 1994: Four in One (Blue Note)
  • 1995: A Better Understanding (Blue Note)
  • 1996: From Now On (Blue Note)
  • 2000: In the Spirit of John Coltrane (Shanachie)
  • 2003: Continuum (Sound Reason)
  • 2007: You and the Night and the Music (18th & Vine)
  • 2009: Last Night at Sweet Rhythm (Sound Reason)

As sideman

With Rabih Abou-Khalil

With Nat Adderley

With Kenny Barron

With Gary Bartz

  • Alto Memories (Verve, 1994)

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

  • Stone Soul (1969)



  1. Collar. "Sonny Fortune". AllMusic. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  2. "Sonny Fortune, Stalwart Saxophonist Of New York, Dies At 79". Retrieved October 27, 2018.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.