Sunday, October 7, 2007
David Adler reports about the saxophonist Odean Pope who was born in South Carolina and moved to Philadelphia at the age of 12 where he will perform these days with his Saxophone Choir ( Philadelphia Inquirer ). Pope took up the tenor saxophone after having heard Illinois Jacquet and Arnett Cobb with Lionel Hampton's big band at the Earle Theatre. Pope was a close friend of John Coltrane - the two used to practice together in the 50s, and Coltrane got him his first major gig with Jimmy Smith. In 1967 and from 1979 to 2002 Pope played in the band of the late Max Roach. Each morning he gets up and tries to develop Odean Pope, the saxophonist says. His style can be described as somewhere between mainstream and avant- garde jazz, Adler explains. His Saxophone Choir, founded in 1977, is no orchestra, but really a sort of choir with which he wants to recapture "all the bright moments I shared in the Baptist church".