Odean's List

“Every time I pick up the horn,” saxophonist Odean Pope claimed in a 2001 interview for The Northern Californian Bohemian, “there’s always something that I discover I can do differently if I really seek.”  Born in North Carolina in 1938, Pope relocated to Philadelphia ten years later and began his music career performing with Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and James Brown, frequently at Philadelphia’s Uptown Theater.  In the 1960s, Pope performed with Jimmy McGriff and Max Roach, building a strong relationship with the latter that led to decades of international touring and recording.  In the late-1970s, Pope formed Catalyst, a funk-infused jazz quartet with Philadelphia-based musicians Eddie Green, Sherman Ferguson, and Al Johnson.  While continuing as a soloist with Roach, in the early-1980s Pope began working more as a band leader, most notably with Odean Pope Saxophone Choir and Odean Pope Trio.  Pope continues to compose and perform music animated by the intersections of hard-bop, swing, and free jazz, steadily seeking new musical possibilities and directions.  About his most recent album, Odean’s List, All About Jazz’s Troy Collins wrote that it “is a compelling reminder of Pope’s relevance as a composer and improviser, one whose talent deserves greater recognition.”

On Wednesday, June 9 at 7:30, The Rosenfeld Gallery (113 Arch Street) will be hosting a performance by the Odean Pope Trio, featuring Philadelphia-natives Lee Smith – the father of bassist Christian McBride - on bass and long-time collaborator Craig McIver on drums.  What is sure to be an excellent and intimate evening with some of our city’s finest jazz musicians will also be preceded by a panel discussion entitled “Philadelphia Jazz: Past, Present, and Future” and featuring Pope, Smith, Iver, Jazz Host J. Michael Harrison from WRTI’s The Bridge, and executive director of Ars Nova Workshop, Mark Christman.  General admission for the event is $20, and space is limited to 60 attendees.  In order to attend, please RSVP immediately by emailing deena.adler@gmail.com.