Odean’s Three In Out ****
The name may not be familiar outside his native Philadelphia, but liner notes by current tenor colossus Joe Lovano are the clue that veteran saxophonist Odean Pope knows what he’s doing. The classic trio format of saxophone, bass and drums is the sternest test of a horn player’s mettle, with nowhere to hide and no chordal instrument to take up the slack, but Pope positively thrives in this exposed setting. Inventive and adventurous, with a huge honking sound reminiscent of fellow Philly tenor men John Coltrane and Archie Shepp, Pople plays like a man with plenty to say and nothing to prove. The result is a profession of faith in the classic language of American jazz, with support from the much-respected Billy Hart on drums and Philly bassist Lee Smtih.