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Sonny Fortune and His Quartet at The Kitano New York
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Sonny Fortune and His Quartet at The Kitano New York

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

Sonny Fortune Quartet
www.sonnyfortune.com

Sonny Fortune on Saxophone
Michael Cochrane on Piano
Chip Jackson on Bass
Steve Johns on Drums

At
The Kitano New York
And 441 Records
(Kitano NY Jazz Lounge)
66 Park Avenue @38th Street
New York, NY
212.885.7119

Produced by Gino Moratti

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
May 16, 2009


Jazz at The Kitano New York is presented Wednesday through Saturday nights, and tonight’s Sonny Fortune Quartet raised the roof. Sonny Fortune, who can play alto, soprano, tenor, and baritone saxes, as well as clarinet and flute, is going strong after decades of performance in concerts and recordings. He has played with Elvin Jones, Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner, and George Benson, among numerous artists, and more recently with his own band, tonight’s ensemble. Michael Cochrane was on piano, Chip Jackson on bass, and Steve Johns on drums. I was joined for this second set by Marco Losavio, Publisher of JazzItalia.net, who was in New York to catch some jazz.

The set opened with Sonny Fortune on soprano sax for Henry Mancini’s “Charade”. Echoing notes on sax extended this gorgeous melody, in between Fortune’s atonal flourishes and brassy melancholy. While Michael Cochrane and Chip Jackson kept the piano and bass uncluttered, Fortune took the ballad to a stormy level. Well into the piece, Cochrane took the lead in rich, steady keyboard rhythms. At one point, Jackson seized the theme on bass, breaking up musical segments, while Fortune’s sax played clean, clear ornamentations. “You and the Night and the Music” was next, with Fortune now on powerful tenor sax. This band had enthusiasm, and it showed in this ballad. A roller-coaster of sound ensued, expanded by Steve Johns’ pulsating percussion. Jackson’s buoyant bass joined Cochrane’s jazzy piano, and then Johns took a solo drum riff, embellishing the keyboard rhythms with rapidly swirling tempos.

“Awakening”, from Fortune’s Blue Note “Trilogy Collection”, had Fortune on flute, and this exotic song was evocative of birds awakening, in jazzy-new age fusion. Johns added some whistling effects, and Cochrane enriched the sound with repetitive chords, for an upbeat, ethereal harmony. Fortune’s flute created an echoing refrain. The backup kept shifting, from rhythmic piano accompaniment, to an eerie bell, to a wooden shaker, before Fortune ended the piece in whispering notes, highs and lows. Miles Davis’ “All Blues” brought out Fortune’s tenor sax again, and this is when he let it all go. Fortune’s facial muscled popped with passion, and he ended on ever-lowering notes that finally grew still. You can catch current and upcoming jazz at Kitano New York, by clicking here to see their schedule.



Marco Losavio and Sonny Fortune
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Sonny Fortune on Sax,
Chip Jackson on Bass,
Steve Johns on Drums
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Michael Cochrane on Piano
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Steve Johns on Drums
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Chip Jackson on Bass
and Steve Johns on Drums
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Sonny Fortune on Flute
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Sonny Fortune on Sax,
Chip Jackson on Bass,
Steve Johns on Drums
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Sonny Fortune on Sax
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Marco Losavio and Michael Cochrane
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Marco Losavio and Chip Jackson
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


Sonny Fortune with Gino Moratti
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower




For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net