Odean Pope (born October 24, 1938, Ninety Six, South Carolina) is an American jazz tenor saxophonist.
Pope was raised in Philadelphia, where he learned from Ray Bryant while young. 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.
He played briefly in the 1960s with Jimmy McGriff, and late in the 1960s he began working with Max Roach, including on tours of Europe in 1967-68. He was a member of Philadelphia group Catalyst in the early and mid-1970s, and assembled the Saxophone Choir, which consists of nine saxophones and a rhythm section (piano, bass and drums), in 1977. He became a regular member of Roach's quartet in 1979 and has recorded extensively with him, in addition to numerous releases as a leader.
Pope has publicly spoken about his bipolar disorder, which he has had for over 30 years.
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.”