Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I was just looking at my jazz calendar and noticed two heavyweights in the jazz world celebrate birthdays today: bassist Cecil McBee, who turns 74 and saxophonist/flautist Sonny Fortune, who turns 70. Fortune I know of more from his work as part of Miles Davis' band around 1974-1975 - but he also has a considerable catalog of recordings as a leader. McBee's work I know primarily via his album Mutima (worth seeking out) and of course his work as a sideman for Pharoah Sanders (on a number of sessions during the early 1970s), Alice Coltrane, Grachan Moncur III, Jackie McLean, Sam Rivers, Dollar Brand (aka Abdullah Ibrahim, on his wonderful album African Space Program), Wayne Shorter and Leon Thomas.

Hopefully both men celebrate their respective birthdays with the knowledge that they have created one hell of a legacy.

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