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sonny fortune

Sonny Fortune

b. Cornelius Fortune, 19th May 1939, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
d. 25th October 2018, New York City, New York, U.S.A.

Sonny Fortune was an accomplished soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones, clarinet, and flute player.

Born in Philadelphia, Sonny relocated to New York City in 1966.

That year he released the album ‘Trip On The Strip’ with Stan Hunter.

In New York, he began playing with with in the drummer, Elvin Jones’s, group.

The following year he joined Mongo Santamaria's band.

Sonny worked with the singer Leon Thomas.

He also worked with pianist McCoy Tyner in the early Seventies.

Sonny then replaced Dave Liebman in Miles Davis's group for a year.

Sonny FortuneSonny FortuneSonny FortuneSonny Fortune

long before our mother's cried - 1974 / awakening - 1975 / serengeti minstrel - 1977 / infinity - 1978

His own portfolio included the albums ‘Long Before Our Mothers Cried’ (in 1974), ‘Awakening’ (in 1975), ‘Waves Of Dreams’ (in 1976), ’Serengheti Minstrel’ (in 1977), ‘Infinity Is (in 1978) and ‘With Sound Reason (in 1979).


Sonny formed his own group in 1975, recording two albums for the Horizon Records that year and 1976.

He went on to record for the Blue Note, Atlantic, Europa Jazz, Black & Blue and DRG imprints.

Sonny worked with the likes of Roy Brooks, Buddy Rich, George Benson, Rabih Abou Khalil, Roy Ayers, Oliver Nelson, Gary Bartz, and Pharoah Sanders.

Sonny’s Eighties output was less prolific than his Seventies CV, although he continued to perform.

During the Nineties he released several albums on Blue Note Records, including ‘Four in One’ (in 1994), ‘A Better Understanding’ (in 1995), and ‘From Now On’ (in 1996).

During the new millennium he continued to perform and released the album ‘In the Spirit of John Coltrane’ (in 2000), ‘Continuum’ (in 2003), ‘You and the Night and the Music’ (in 2007), and ‘Last Night at Sweet Rhythm’ (in 2009).

Sonny Fortune died in 2018 at the age of 79.

Real Player


Trip On The Strip (Prestige Records 1966)

Long Before Our Mothers Cried (Strata-East Records 1974)

Awakening (A&M Records 1975)

Waves Of Dreams (A&M Records 1976)

Serengeti Minstrel (Atlantic Records 1977)

Infinity Is (Atlantic Records 1978)

With Sound Reason (Atlantic Records 1979)

I Giganti Del Jazz Vol. 81 (Europa Jazz Records 1981)

Great Friends (Black And Blue Records 1987)

Riding High Plus Jazz Symphonies Solo Brothers & Professor Jive (DRG Records 1989)

Laying It Down (Konnex Records 1991)

Inside Out ‎(Timeless Records 1992)

It Ain't What It Was ‎(Konnex Records 1992)

Monks Mood ‎(Konnex Records 1993)

Alto Memories  (Verve Records 1994)

Four In One (Blue Note Records 1994)

A Better Understanding (Blue Note Records 1995)

From Now On (Blue Note Records 1996)

In The Spirit Of John Coltrane ‎(Shanachie Records 2000)

Continuum ‎(Sound Reason Records 2003)

Live At The A-Trane ‎(Konnex Records 2006)

You And The Night And The Music ‎(18th & Vine Records 2007)

Invitation ‎(Candid Records 2010)

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