ODEAN POPE OPENS UP OLD AND NEW DREAMS: HOTHOUSE FESTIVAL FRIDAY
By Kai EL ‘ Zabar
HotHouse kicks off its 2nd Annual Old and New Dreams’ Festival this Friday November 13 at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, Performance Hall and Penthouse 915 East 60th Street Chicago. The festival returns with a strong emphasis on its mission to unite people through music in seeking peace. The Odean Pope Trio headlines Friday/tonight. Friday nights line also features UGOCHI, A.D.D Rhythms Presents Jumaane Taylor’s Supreme Love With The Rajiv Halim Quartet
HotHouse founder/Executive Director and Festival curator Marguerite Horberg says, “We recognize the relationships created throughout the globe between musicians of the New World Music and jazz genres.”
This years two-day HotHouse ‘Old and New Dreams’ Festival line up will provide a mélange of talent complete with unusual musical pairings and long-overdue popular jazz appearances. This premiere showcase highlights the key programming HotHouse has to offer, ranging from young up and comers, to seasoned performers worthy of greater recognition — new world and jazz giants that seldom come to town.
One of the jazz giants to join the line-up is Odean Pope; an intense tenor saxophonist who hails from Philadelphia was born in Ninety-Six, South Carolina to musical parents who rooted him in the sounds of the Southern Baptist Church. After moving to Philadelphia at the age of ten, his lifelong study of music began in earnest and was buttressed by The Graniff School of Music and Benjamin Franklin High School’s music program.
Known for 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 Philadelphia provided a rich intricately woven cultural experience for the young Pope.
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. At a later time he studied at The Paris Conservatory for Music under Kenny Clarke. It was there that he received his Certificate in Orchestration, Modern harmony, African rhythms, Be-Bop Art Forms and Arrangement.
While growing up in Philly, Pope studied with the pianist Ray Bryant from whom he learned important musical lessons; bassist, Jymie Merritt and was significantly influenced by the brilliant, if not eccentric pianist, Hassan Ibn Ali and enjoyed short associations with organist Jimmy McGriff and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Early in his career, at Philadelphia’s Uptown Theater, Pope played behind a number of noted rhythm and blues artists including James Brown, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder.
Although Odean Pope is probably best known an important member of Max Roach’s quartet beginning in 1979 who brought his own brand of fiery fervor he has gone on to establish a musical imprint in the world independent Max Roach.
He began teaming up with Roach in the late ’60s, although it would be another decade before he became a regular part of his group. Pope led Catalyst, a band that made four records in the ’70s, and he put together the Saxophone Choir in 1977. Falling into the post-bop genre, the latter band consisted of eight saxophones and a rhythm section, and became a part-time unit. But Odean Pope, who recorded consistently stimulating dates as a leader for Moers and Soul Note, is best known for his many appearances and his extensive recordings with Roach.
“Then being able to study with Max (Roach) from ’79 up until ’02, was like going to one of the highest institutions in the whole world.”…
Like many of his era he has been associated with the genre of Jazz not to exclude the sub divisions, Post-Bop, avant-garde, Contemporary, Modern Creative, etc. One thing we can count on is Pope bringing his authentic expression to the music. He possesses a very powerful sound, and awesome control of his instrument, including the use of multiphonic and circular breathing techniques.
Even though he plays clarinet, oboe, piccolo, flute and piano, Odean feels an affinity for the tenor saxophone because it most closely mimics the human voice. He constructs layers of melodic sound by playing within the fourth system in different tone scales using multiphonics, achieving several pitches together, for which he is well known. The choir reaches a stunning intensity that is simultaneously one voice and is also, as described by Francis Davis, “harmonically engorged.”
Pope was quoted in 2001 as saying; “Every time I pick that horn up there’s always something that I discover I can do differently if I really seek. If you were on planet Earth for, like, 2 billion years, I feel as though there’s always something new that you can find to do. There’s no end.”]
The two-day festival will showcase a spectrum of artists crossing the all cultural and ethnic lines merging through the vibration of sound.
Marguerite says, “It’s important that Hothouse present the dynamic of music that we do in keeping with our mission to unite people through music in seeking peace. We recognize the relationships created throughout the globe between musician of the New World Music and jazz genres. The coming together under the guise of music is not discussed enough so in our way we demonstrate the reality through our gallery of music presented in our programs.”
In keeping with its rich past over the past thirty years, as a cultural leader in Chicago, the ‘Old and New Dreams’ Festival promises to be a premiere multi-arts showcase that celebrates top programming.
The festival line up:
- M.A.D.D Rhythms Presents Jumaane Taylor’s Supreme Love With The Rajiv Halim Quartet
- The Odean Pope Trio
- Black Lives Matter- Art Matters Round table discussion
- Needle Drop: Critics spinning and digging Ornette and Old and New Dreams
- Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures with Brahim Frigbane, Graham Haynes, Ralph Jones, Alex Marcello & Jerome Harris with special guest Hamid Drake
- The Go: Organic Orchestra,18 piece ensemble – NY meets Chicago
WHEN: Friday November 13, Doors Open 7pm, Program 8 pm
Friday highlights include the commanding performance of M.A.D.D. Rhythms’ Supreme Love – a tap dance whirlwind interpretation of Coltrane’s eternal hit record “A Love Supreme.” Attendees will also have a rare opportunity to enjoy the performance of the 86-year-old, Philly-based sax man, Odean Pope, who will headline the evening’s program. Old and New Dreams promises to be a spectacular multi-arts festival that will be a heralded entry in every arts and culture fall calendar.
Tickets & more information: www.hothouse.net