Sonny Fortune Biography

Cornelius Fortune, 19 May 1939, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. An intense player on alto, tenor and soprano saxophones and flute, Fortune studied at Wurlitzers and Granoff School of Music and privately with Roland Wiggins. He started his playing career in Philadelphia R&B bands. He moved to New York in 1967 and played with Elvin Jones (1968), Mongo Santamaría (1968-70), Leon Thomas (1970), McCoy Tyner (1971-73), Roy Brooks (1973), Buddy Rich (1974) and Miles Davis (1974-75). He was with Davis when he made his highly-controversial ‘heavy’ album Agartha. Despite all the electronics Fortune frequently blisters his way to the fore during this live double album, and showed that he had lost none of the fire in the late 80s when he toured with the Elvin Jones Jazz Machine. He has also played with George Benson, Oliver Nelson, Horace Arnold, Roy Ayers and Pharoah Sanders, but has recorded too seldom as a leader.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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