A fiery and often intense tenor saxophonist, Odean Pope was an important member of Max Roach's quartet beginning in 1979. Pope grew up in Philadelphia, took some important musical lessons from Ray Bryant, and had short associations with organist Jimmy McGriff and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. He first 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 recordings with Roach.