Wayne Shorter's 2002 Verve album, Footprints Live!, will rank high on many jazz critics' year-end top-10 lists, but the contents of this handy two-disc anthology shouldn't be forgotten as the bedrock

Wayne Shorter's 2002 Verve album, Footprints Live!, will rank high on many jazz critics' year-end top-10 lists, but the contents of this handy two-disc anthology shouldn't be forgotten as the bedrock upon which his art rests. Before the saxophonist/ composer joined the Miles Davis Quintet of the mid-'60s or co-founded '70s fusion sensation Weather Report, he made a bushel of classic sides for Blue Note as leader, sideman, and key member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. This set's opening disc showcases gems from Shorter's early solo career ("Speak No Evil," "Footprints"), while the second disc spotlights his contributions as a catalyst for others ("The Chess Players"). His tenor sax is both supremely virile and sensitive, and his compositions—some of the greatest in jazz—combine intelligence with sensual grace.—BB

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