February 18, 1987 |
At one point in "Citizen Kane," that movie masterpiece of wealth and power gone haywire, Bernstein, the sole survivor of the Kane newspaper empire, observes, "It's no trick to make a lot of money if all you want do is make a lot of money. " Something of the same wisdom was recently drawn from Odean Pope, who said, "There's money out there to be had" for the aspiring jazz musician, "if you're in it just for the money. " A somewhat quirky sentiment from Pope, who has toiled in the vineyards of professional jazz for more than 20 years.
September 30, 1994 |
Tenor saxophonist Odean Pope and legendary drummer Max Roach are not exactly joined at the hip, but their close musical relationship goes way, way back. Pope, born in South Carolina in 1939 and raised in North Philadelphia, began his association with Roach when he joined the drummer's band in 1967. Since then, Pope has gone out on his own - most notably as leader of the Saxophone Choir, which he formed in 1978 - but the saxophonist has always been there when Roach was ready to tour or record.
September 23, 2007 |
It's twilight, the evening before Labor Day, and the weather is ideal. Odean Pope's tenor sax resounds in the verdant hills of the Awbury Arboretum, the site of Germantown's second annual John Coltrane Jazz Festival. Fronting his Saxophone Choir - a unique group consisting of nine saxophones, piano, bass and drums - Pope conducts and plays several signature pieces, attacking the breakneck tempo of "Prince Lasha," then easing into an unaccompanied solo on the dark, glowing ballad "Epitome.
January 8, 1988 |
John Hicks - a much-in-demand pianist in the sleek, hard-driving mold of McCoy Tyner, is this week's top attraction for area jazz fans. Hicks leads an all-star group, featuring alto saxophonist Bobby Watson, flutist Elise Wood, bassist Walter Booker and drummer Idris Muhammad, tomorrow at the Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St. Shows are 8 and 10 p.m., and tickets cost $10. Information: 925-9914. STANLEY JORDAN/MOSE ALLISON. Jordan is a callow guitarist with more technique than imagination - that's not an endorsement.
March 23, 2011 |
Odean Pope is a Philadelphia treasure. The 72-year-old tenor saxophonist/composer has had a storied career. Heralded for his Coltrane-like sensitivity, he's been a sideman for Max Roach and the centerpiece of Philly's cinematic funksters Catalyst. As a leader, Pope has recorded notable improvisational jazz sides (his Soul Note output of the '80s), held court over his Saxophone Choir for 30-plus years, and continued to forge forward with the most buoyantly diverse CD of his career, 2010's Odean's List . Pope is the sort of native-born talent we should hold sacred.
April 4, 1987 |
Is there a jazz sound unique to Philadelphia? Those who say yes usually offer a litany of the famous musicians born or bred here in lieu of a precise definition. Naysayers point out that it would be remarkable if a city this size failed to produce an abundance of jazz talent. They go on to cite the lack of a particular style or movement indigenous to Philadelphia, as Dixie is to New Orleans, stride to Harlem and swing to Kansas City. Perhaps the question should be: Are there any characteristics historically identified with Philadelphia-area musicians?
February 26, 1996 |
Max Roach began his quartet's concert Friday night with his customary drum solo - he ardently mugged the cymbals with padded drumsticks. Although his brow is lightly dusted with gray, it was hard to believe Roach is 72. He and his black-garbed quartet ripped through tightly scripted snatches of "Blue Monk," "Au Privave," and other hard bop delicacies without breaking a sweat. Roach, who appears all over the world with this quartet, seemed to want to give his Philly-based sidemen some extra time out front at this two-hour Convention Center concert, sponsored by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.
July 15, 1994 |
No one knows more about the changing face of jazz and public taste than Ron Dewey Wynn, executive director of the Mill Creek Jazz and Cultural Society in West Philadelphia. And so it was with much sadness that he announced this week the suspension of the "Back to the Roots" jazz series that began in March 1989. The series, which has brought in such top jazz names as Andy Bey, Arthur Blythe, Jimmy Heath, Bobby Watson, Clifford Jordan, Joe Zawinul, Sumi Tonooka, the Harper Brothers, Odean Pope and many others - and closes tonight with Gary Bartz - has been geared to young people.
June 27, 1987 |
Last night's Mellon Jazz Festival concert at the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum featured the Max Roach Double Quartet - the drummer's regular foursome (himself, trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater, tenor saxophonist Odean Pope and bassist Tyrone Brown) plus the Uptown String Quartet (Diane Monroe and Lesa Terry on violins, Zela Terry on cello and Roach's daughter Maxine on viola). The concert, which was delightful from start to finish, provided valuable insight into the changing relationship between jazz and classical music.
September 14, 1988 |
The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded grants to five Philadelphia-area musicians and a performing-arts center as part of more than $1 million given nationally to aid jazz musicians, composers and the study of jazz. Sharing in $399,000 awarded to 89 artists nationally are local performers Mharlyn C. Merritt of Philadelphia ($8,900 to support cost of a performance and video demonstration recording), Dylan Taylor of Philadelphia ($5,000 for one-on-one study with bassist Buster Williams)