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This excellent four-CD cross-section of Wayne Shorter’s early recordings shows the saxophonist’s rhythmic wit and oblique-but-soulful phrasing in place on his studio debut alongside pianist Wynton Kelly in 1959, aged 25. He’d just joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, where his knack of distilling 20th-century music into astutely original compositions soon flourished.

Though only a beginning for Wayne Shorter – Miles Davis and Weather Report followed; his current quartet is unrivalled – the first steps presented here are jazz high points that have lost none of their magic.

Wayne Shorter

Beginnings

(Properbox)

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