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Sonny Fortune: You and the Night and the Music

Alto and soprano saxophonist-flutist Sonny Fortune displays Coltrane-influenced sax stylings to great advantage on a couple of tracks on You and the Night and the Music, his first new recording in nearly four years. Mostly, however, Fortune’s frequently searing sound exhibits its own personal edge, whether he’s tearing through the opening “Sweet Georgia Brown” and the closing “BeBop” or offering touching ballad work on “‘Round Midnight” and “For Duke and Cannon.”

Backed by the very solid rhythm section of pianist George Cables, bassist Chip Jackson and drummer Steve Johns, Fortune offers listeners a nicely varied program with only the title track and “Charade,” his lone soprano sax outing, cast in Trane’s modal shadow. The leader’s flute playing is featured on the Latin-tinged “Love Song,” as well as Thelonious Monk’s “‘Round Midnight.” Fortune’s alto reigns on the remaining tracks, with “Besame Mucho” and “The End of a Love Affair” also taking on a midtempo Latin feel. Fortune’s soprano work goes through some dicey moments, however.

Nonetheless, Fortune deserves far greater recognition and this collection is a clear reason why. The contributions of Cables, also not heard often enough on recordings in the past few years, are a large part of the success of this outing.

Originally Published