Odean Pope Quartet: Two Dreams

Longtime Max Roach tenor player Odean Pope presents a an invigorating program of free-bop on Two Dreams (CIMP). His quartet, with altoist Carl Grubbs, bassist Tyrone Brown and drummer Craig McIver, imbues a collection of his own resourceful originals with the sense of in-the-moment freshness and the seriousness of purpose that characterize top quality jazz. Although the two compatible horn players venture into free territory at will, they also mine the hard bop vein with ease, at all times supported by a clear and steady pulse from the two-man rhythm section. On “Turn Me Loose,” for example, both saxists let loose with ferocious flurries of unmeasured runs during their solos, while on the uptempo blues “Lines for Four,” they often swing like ’60s Blue Note regulars. And on the slower “Two Dreams,” Pope’s articulation and keening sound bring to mind early Coltrane. Brown and McIver have recorded with Pope often, and Grubbs featured him on his own recent recording. Their comfort with each other is obvious.