Odean Pope, sax
Lee Smith, bass
Billy Hart, drums
Odean Pope grew up in Philadelphia alongside jazz notables such as John Coltrane, Lee Morgan, Clifford Brown, Benny Golson, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy and Percy Heath, Ray Bryant, Bill Barron, Kenny Barron, Archie Shepp, Jymie Merritt, Jimmy Garrison, Philly Joe Jones and Dizzy Gillespie. Coltrane chose Odean to replace him in Jimmy Smith’s Group when he left for New York to join Miles Davis. Although he was close to Coltrane and continues to revere his artistry, Odean was always searching for his own musical sound. This led him to study with Ron Rubin, the principal woodwind player in the Philadelphia Orchestra.
In 1979, Odean joined the Max Roach Quartet as a regular member for more than two decades. It was as the tenor man with Max Roach that Odean perfected the techniques of circular breathing and multiphonics, both allowing him to stretch his solo improvisations from dazzling elevations to the throbbing, husky sounds for which he is so well known. Odean won acclaim from Australia to Japan, even winning “Best Tenor Saxophone Player” at the North Sea Jazz Festival.
Odean Pope currently works with his own trio featuring Lee Smith and Craig Mclver and also his saxophone choir, which is formatted with nine saxophones. Although he plays clarinet, oboe, piccolo, flute and piano, Odean feels an affinity for the tenor saxophone because it most closely mimics the human voice.
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New York, NY 10012