Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Sonny Fortune - 1974 - Long Before Our Mothers Cried

Sonny Fortune
Long Before Our Mothers Cried

01. Long Before Our Mothers Cried 14:52
02. A Tribute To A Holiday (Billie) 6:01
03. Sound Of Silents 8:58
04. Five For Trane 6:28
05. Wayneish 6:45

Flute, Producer, Saxophone [Alto, Soprano] – Sonny Fortune
Bass – Wayne Dockery
Congas, Triangle, Tambourine – Angel Allende
Cowbell, Shaker – Richie Pablo Landrum
Drums – Chip Lyle
Drums [Bass], Timbales – Mario Muñoz
Electric Piano, Piano – Stanley Cowell
Trumpet – Charles Sullivan

Saxophonist, flutist, and multi-reed player Sonny Fortune is a progressive musician with a harmonically aggressive style who came to prominence as a member of trumpeter Miles Davis' fusion groups of the '70s. Born in Philadelphia in 1939, Fortune attended the Wurlitzer and Granoff music schools and performed with local R&B bands in his teens. Influenced early on by such players as Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, and John Coltrane, Fortune was 18 before he decided to pursue a career in music exclusively. In 1967 he moved to New York City and quickly found work with several name artists, including drummer Elvin Jones and percussionist Mongo Santamaria, with whom he would play for two years. Around 1970 Fortune was asked join McCoy Tyner's group and ended up performing with the legendary pianist from 1971 to 1973. During this time, Fortune also recorded with drummer Buddy Rich and even turned down an invitation to join Miles Davis' fusion ensemble, choosing to stick with Tyner. However, in 1974 Fortune finally accepted and replaced saxophonist David Liebman in Davis' group. Although he was only with Davis for a year, it was a fruitful time and Fortune appeared on several albums including Big Fun, Get Up with It, Agharta, and Pangaea.

In 1975 Fortune formed his own group, and during the remainder of the decade released several albums including 1975's Awakening, 1977's Serengeti Minstrel with trumpeter Woody Shaw, and 1977's Waves of Dreams. Also during the '70s, he worked with cornetist Nat Adderley as well as the Elvin Jones Jazz Machine. Although his own discography is sparse throughout the '80s, Fortune continued to perform, joining the Coltrane Legacy Band in 1987 along with Tyner, Jones, and bassist Reggie Workman. In the '90s Fortune's solo work kicked into high gear and he released several acclaimed records for Blue Note, including 1994's Four in One, 1995's A Better Understanding, and 1996's From Now On. Since 2000 Fortune has continued to perform around the world and has released a steady stream of albums, including his 2000 tribute album In the Spirit of John Coltrane, 2003's Continuum, 2007's standards album You and the Night and the Music, and 2009's live album Last Night at Sweet Rhythm.

A real early moment of genius from reedman Sonny Fortune – a classic set cut for the Strata East label, and one that's got a lot more depth and edge than some of Fortune's later records! Don't get us wrong, we always love Sonny to death – but there's really something special going on here – a quality that has Fortune breaking from some of the straighter scenes he was working in a few years before, and going for a righteous style he'd never create this well again – a rich approach to the music that's very much at home on Strata East! Tracks are long, and graced not only with wonderfully searching solos from Sonny on alto, soprano sax, and flute – but also features trumpet from Charles Sullivan, Fender Rhodes and piano from Stanley Cowell, bass from Wayne Dockery, drums from Chip Lyle, and percussion from the heady trio of Richard Landrum, Mario Munoz, and Angel Allende. The percussion is quite heavy at times, and gives the record a really rootsy feel at some of the best moments 

1 comment: