The Allmusic review by Stacia Proefrock states "it really does rank with the best of his output from this incredibly fertile period. From the first moments when Shorter's sax soars out in the eponymous opening track, with its warmth and roundness and power, it is hard not to like this album. It might not be turning as sharp of a corner stylistically as some of his earlier works, like Speak No Evil, but its impact is only dulled by the fact that Shorter has already arrived at the peak of his powers. Taken in isolation, this is one of the great works of mid-'60s jazz, but when Shorter has already achieved a unique performance style, compositional excellence, and a perfectly balanced relationship with his sidemen, it is hard to be impressed by the fact that he manages to continue to do these things album after album. But Shorter does shine here, while allowing strong players like Herbie Hancock to also have their place in the sun"
One often returns to classic recordings with mixed feelings. On one hand, there's the anticipation of hearing great music, and on the other, trepidation that the recording has failed to hold up over time. By 1966 Wayne Shorter had entered one of his most creative periods, both as a solo artist and as a member of Miles Davis' second classic quintet. Besides his skills as a saxophonist, he also proved to be a prolific writer, penning five of Adam's Apple's seven pieces. It didn't hurt Shorter's musical vision to have pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Reggie Workman, and drummer Joe Chambers onboard here, sensitive players who were attentive to the thin lines connecting these post-bop concoctions. Hancock's solo in Jimmy Rowles' "502 Blues (Drinkin' and Drivin')," for instance, skirts gently into another realm, offering a tender counterpoint to Shorter's more aggressive horn. The band quickly sets "El Gaucho"'s framework only to let each player wonder freely in the fashioned space, creating a beautifully layered effect. There's also an early version of "Footprints" that would show up on Miles Smiles the very same year (with both Shorter and Hancock onboard). [The 2003 reissue of Adam's Apple includes a nearly seven-minute take on Hancock's "The Collector," offering yet one more reason to pick up this lovely album.]
- All compositions by Wayne Shorter except as indicated.
- "Adam's Apple" – 6:49
- "502 Blues (Drinkin' and Drivin')" (Jimmy Rowles) – 6:34
- "El Gaucho" – 6:30
- "Footprints" – 7:29
- "Teru" – 6:12
- "Chief Crazy Horse" – 7:34
- "The Collector" (Herbie Hancock) – 6:54 Bonus track on CD reissue