Sonny Fortune: On Second and Fifth


On Second and Fifth


Sonny Fortune (alto sax)


From Now On (Blue Note 38098)

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Sonny Fortune (alto sax), Joe Lovano (tenor sax), John Hicks (piano), Jeff "Tain" Watts (drums),

Santi Debriano (bass)


Composed by Sonny Fortune


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, March 11-12, 1996


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Sonny Fortune turned 70 on May 19, 2009—he’s yet another "senior citizen" jazz musician whose chronological age does not compute with his or her unrelenting vitality and creative impulse. And he's just a youngster compared to Ornette Coleman, Lee Konitz, Sonny Rollins, Hank Jones, and Marian McPartland, among many others still going strong today. Fortune became known largely through his associations with Mongo Santamaria, Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner, and Miles Davis during the '60's and '70's, but his most representative recordings as a leader didn't come until his three releases for Blue Note in the '90's, which culminated in From Now On.

"On Second and Fifth" is one of Fortune's five well-crafted originals performed on the CD. The romping, vigorous big band-sounding theme is well-harmonized by Fortune and his guest, Joe Lovano. The late John Hicks sprints zestfully through the first solo, which is framed by enticing turnarounds that pepper the entire arrangement. Lovano plays a swaggering hard bop improv with his distinctively grainy, variously inflected tone. Fortune follows with an initial fanfare, leading to prancing, elongated runs made that much more joyfully appealing by his assured ability—and natural inclination—to navigate the entire range of his instrument. The reprise reinforces the first impression that this composition could easily have been written by Charles Mingus, given its vivid personality and shifting harmonies.

Reviewer: Scott Albin


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