Odean Pope’s Sublime Combo Shines On “Mwalimu”

Here’s some perfect Sunday instrumental fare from a brilliant small jazz combo led by Philadelphia sax legend Odean Pope. One thing you don’t get from drums in most contemporary recordings is the voice of a player, essentially singing through the instruments. A digital clock and sampled sounds simply doesn’t “talk” in this way. A drum set is a great voice in the hands of the right person, and here you find the drone of the ride cymbals, the sigh of the crash, the pulse of the tom toms and everything else, adding up to a living, breathing entity. This while Odean Pope’s elegant tenor sax says so much with so little, in the way of a true master. Reeds, bass, and drums, baby, in a sweet, swelling, storytelling upwelling of generosity. Subtle, kind, ingenious music.

Odean Pope
“Mwalimu” (download mp3)
from “Universal Sounds”
(Porter Records)
“Mwalimu” (play)
More On This Album