Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Odean Pope Quartet, Fresh Breeze, 2008

Most readers will know that tenormaster Odean Pope had a long and productive tenure as a member of one of Max Roach's best bands. His own recordings show him in musically solid, compositionally well-suited, good blowing modes.

One of the best is an album from 2008: Fresh Breeze (CIMP 378). It's a quartet date but the way Odean writes and arranges for it, it sometimes sounds like a larger band. The lineup is Maestro Pope on tenor, Bobby Zankel, alto, Lee Smith, bass, and Craig McIver on drums. The rhythm section is in good form and the two horns lock into much that is worth hearing. Eight substantial numbers, good solid ensemble, Pope and Zankel soloing well...that's what you get here. It's worth backtracking to find this one.

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