The Best of Kirk Whalum collects a bevy of tracks off smooth jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum's five Columbia albums. Despite the fact that it was these albums that made Whalum a star, they were inconsistent, and it is nice to have his most potent material organized onto one disc. Included are songs from the concert staple "Kyle's Smile" and the soulful "Glow" to mid-'90s material like "X-Factor" and "Peaceful Hideaway." Since most of Whalum's fans probably already have the albums these tracks are culled from, it seems a bit lacking that no previously unreleased material was included. Nonetheless, this is an essential compilation for any smooth jazz fan.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar