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Seven Steps To Heaven

March 15, 2005 | Format: MP3

Also available in CD Format
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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: March 25, 2003
  • Release Date: March 15, 2005
  • Label: Columbia/Legacy
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 57:03
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00138EX9W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,219 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Michael Stack VINE VOICE on November 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD
In 1963, Miles Davis was reeling a bit-- the Wynton Kelly Trio (Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb) had just quit, leaving the trumpeter without his stellar rhythm section, and with both John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley breaking ties the band, there was no one left from the band that recorded the triumph of "Kind of Blue". "Seven Steps to Heaven" tracks the evolution of Davis' working band over three sessions in early 1963-- the last studio work he'd do until early 1965.

The first two sessions recorded here find Davis in the company of tenor saxophonist George Coleman, pianist Victor Feldman, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Frank Butler. The pieces from this session are primarily standard ballads-- "Basin Street Blues", "I Fall In Love Too Easily", "Baby Won't You Please Come Home" and "Summer Night" (a bonus track originally issued as part of "Quiet Nights". All four feature Davis superbly lyrical-- he seems particularly inspired by the somewhat underrecognized Feldman, whose lovely and emotive frameworks set up simply fantastic environments for Davis to solo and the ever-brilliant Carter to counter. This is all particularly obvious on the stunning reading of "I Fall in Love Too Easily", destined to stay in Davis' live repetoire for over seven years (extraordinarily rare for Davis, he tended to play songs live no more than a couple years, sometimes even less) and still featured into his "fusion" period. Coleman's only appearance from this session is the performance of "So Near, So Far" (again a bonus track originally issued on the odds-and-ends album "Directions"). The performance is pretty lifeless, with neither Davis nor Coleman particularly inspired.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Transfigured Knight on March 12, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Miles Davis was one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of our time. His need for change, exploration, and experimentation will remain his legacy. I think anyone who plays or listens to jazz owes it to themselves to check out Miles Davis. That being said, "Seven Steps To Heaven" is a one of his greatest recordings of the 1960s.

Recorded in 1963 in Los Angeles and New York, this recording remains a somewhat overlooked album in Davis' vast discography. The reason I think it is overlooked is because it features Miles playing more ballads. I believe ballads are what made Miles Davis great and that's why if anyone loves ballads, then "Seven Steps to Heaven" would be a great purchase. Of course, tunes like the title track and "Joshua" are both uptempo and feature some really swinging rhythms and hot soloing. "Seven Steps To Heaven" also feature three of the greatest musicians from contemporary jazz: Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams. This is the first time they played with Miles Davis on record.

The musicians on this album are all stellar and are given plenty of room to stretch out. Here is the lineup for this album:

Miles Davis - trumpet
George Coleman - tenor saxophone
Herbie Hancock - piano (tracks 2, 4, and 6)
Victor Feldman - piano (all other tracks)
Ron Carter - bass
Tony Williams - drums (tracks 2, 4, and 6)
Frank Butler - drums (all other tracks)

Despite what people say and what they feel is the greatest Miles album, I feel that "Seven Steps To Heaven" is right there with some of his best work. I own 35 albums by Miles Davis and I can't believe I waited so long before I bought this album.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. R. Davis on November 23, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This album is a great collection of songs from two different collctions of good musicians. Over the years, I have always preferred Miles' era with Gil Evans (Miles Ahead, Porgy & Bess, Sketches of Spain), but this album, in 1963, brings a more crisp & refined sound. The opening cut ('Basin Street Blues') is absolutely marvelous, and Victor Feldman shines on a soft, emotional piano solo about midway through the song. All the songs (including the bonus cut: 'Summer Nights') are thoroughly enjoyable with peaceful melodies. This album is a winner, and should be considered as one Miles Davis' best... very close to being 'heavenly'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andre S. Grindle TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 3, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Upon reading the autobiography Miles I was more than a little bit interested to hear this album,particularly the presense of George Coleman in the band. If you read that book you'll discover how Coleman left the group and was suceeded by Wayne Shorter very shortly thereafter. That was far from the only change that Miles was making to his band,the very same who would become his famous 60's quintet. What makes this album so historically AND musically fascinating is that Victor Feldman and drummer Frank Butler were transitioning out of the band as Herbie Hancock and Tony Williams were working their way in. And if you ask me there is no better way to bring about the birth of a band than with music like this. "Basin Street Blues" isn't lying when you hear Miles,Victor,Ron and Frank lay down some of the leanest,meanest blues licks you'll find in early 60's jazz. Also you can hear some changes in the way Miles is playing:his horn playing is moving from his heavy on easy style into a sound that I suppose is an early form of "freebop" where the tough beauty of his playing starts to get just a little louder than one might expect. The title track is of course of of Miles classic but you could call it the first full introduction to Miles's 60's quintet as Miles,George,Herbie,Ron, and Tony really give this free swinging number a big workout. Wayne isn't onboard yet but,despite what some might think George Coleman was a guy who could sure have done really big things with Miles had he not left so soon:his solo on this tune is one of it's big highlites. "I Fall In Love Too Easily" is a great rhythmic calypso rhythm that actually owes a lot to the influence of Sonny Rollins and Dizzy Gillespie in a lot of ways.Read more ›
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