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LIVE REVIEWS

Odean Pope Quartet at Chris’ Jazz Cafe

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Odean Pope Quartet Chris' Jazz Café Philadelphia, PA July 19, 2014 Legendary tenor saxophonist Odean Pope, in addition to his international status and iconic recordings, often appears in Philadelphia, his home town, but usually in festivals, concerts, and other situations where he is part of a bigger mix. His one evening show at Chris' Jazz Café gave listeners a special opportunity to hear him in an intimate setting where they could really attend to the subtlety of his playing in addition to his intricate long runs fueled by his innovative circular breathing. For the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Odean Pope: Odean's Three

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It's been a banner year for tenor saxophone trios. Not the most common lineup, this challenging ensemble has seen some terrific releases from musicians both famous and unsung, veterans and newcomers alike. Now Philadelphia saxophonist Odean Pope adds his superb contribution with Odean's Three. It might not be fair to judge any jazz musician by the standard of whether he's become a 'household name.' What's famous among jazz fans--a group dedicated to esoteric musicians if ever there was one-- is meaningless within the context of broader popular music. But even among jazz fans Pope deserves wider recognition. At ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Odean Pope: Odean's List

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Though best known for his lengthy tenure accompanying legendary drummer Max Roach, Philadelphia-based tenor saxophonist Odean Pope has long demonstrated a flair for writing and arranging that is as impressive as his sideman work. His most arresting compositions have been conceived for his decades-old Saxophone Choir, while smaller-scale projects have featured his improvisational prowess in collaboration with peers such as Dave Burrell, Khan Jamal and Sunny Murray. The octet featured on Odean's List gracefully integrates the intricate charts of Pope's Saxophone Choir with the intimacy of his small-combo sessions. Comprised of veterans both young and old, this multi-generational ensemble features ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Odean Pope: Odean's List

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Odean Pope Odean's List In+Out Records 2009

Saxophonist Odean Pope is probably one of the most underappreciated jazz musicians of his generation. While Pope is most often cited for his long tenure with drummer Max Roach, his own recordings--from trio outings to his explosive saxophone choir albums--show a tough-toned tenor titan who writes and scores brilliantly for groups of any size and plays his heart out on every occasion. Pope came up on the Philadelphia scene, and fellow saxophone maverick Archie Shepp's liner notes for this album detail the good times they had while ...

INTERVIEWS

Odean Pope: A Singular Voice in the Choir

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Grounded in the Baptist spirituals of his youth followed by a musical upbringing in Philadelphia with the likes of John Coltrane and organist Jimmy Smith as mentors, tenor saxophonist Odean Pope is the bridge between hard bop and free.

His contributions to jazz are of major historical significance and through his over two decade long fruitful association with drummer Max Roach, groundbreaking saxophone choir, trio and quartet work and educational outreach he has influenced generations of musicians. At the same time, Pope cannot be pigeonholed and he has managed to maintain his creativity by continuing to ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Odean Pope: To The Roach & Serenity

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Odean Pope Quartet To The Roach CIMP 2006 Odean Pope Serenity CIMP 2007

The many-sided figure defined by the intersecting lines among saxophonists Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman is the space that tenor saxophonist Odean Pope inhabits and expands upon. A nexus among players of his generation, Pope is on the cusp of bop and free jazz, connecting the two with a singular approach that is both accessible and creative. These two recent releases ...

INTERVIEWS

Odean Pope: Preaching With the Choir

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After more than forty years of being a highly regarded musician's musician, saxophonist Odean Pope threatens to break out into mass consciousness with the release of his sizzling tour de force session with his Saxophone Choir, appropriately titled Locked and Loaded: Live at The Blue Note (Half Note, 2006). While he also works in trio and quartet settings, his signature Saxophone Choir fulfills his early desire to translate the power and majesty of a gospel choir to his beloved reeds. Featured on the live recording are soloists who grew up inspired by Pope's musical vision, including Michael Brecker, Joe Lovano, ...



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