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Seven Steps: The Complete Columbia Recordings Of Miles Davis 1963-1964

September 28, 2004 | Format: MP3

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Popularity Prime  
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10:27
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5:29
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6:10
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6:01
Disc 2
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6:57
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6:23
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6:56
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1:00
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Disc 3
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11:36
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16:54
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16:14
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16:47
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6:06
Disc 4
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2:48
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10:39
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9:11
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8:07
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14:40
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1:43
Disc 5
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0:44
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14:54
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9:32
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11:15
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6:16
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7:44
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10:02
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9
1:44
Disc 6
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1:10
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8:03
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9:13
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11:18
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1:20
Disc 7
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8:58
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12:38
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10:27
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12:53
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10:39
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1:45
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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: September 28, 2004
  • Release Date: September 28, 2004
  • Number of Discs: 7
  • Label: Columbia/Legacy
  • Total Length: 7:07:10
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0013DC6UU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,813 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Lipman on October 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This box set covers the period between the 2 great quintets of Miles Davis. The time in question is several years after the Coltrane band disbanded, but right before the great Shorter/Hancock years of the 2nd quintet.

Many have considered this time frame to be the equivalent of lost years or as time best to be forgotten. I am not one of those people.

This is a band and a musician in transition. The established repetoire that forms the backbone of this set continiously evolves as Miles responds to the influence of new players. It is interesting to listen to the results of Miles' evolving thought processes. Certainly not all of it works and not all of the sidemen are up to the task, but taken as a whole there is very little not to like.

This box set consists of the studio album "Seven Steps to Heaven" and a series of live concerts. The most well known of the live dates are "My Funny Valentine" and "4 and More" which were recorded on successive dates in early 1964 and released as 2 albums. The occasion was a series of concerts held a Lincoln Center in NYC to benefit the United Negro College Fund. Miles was comitted to this cause and by the time of the concerts, his working band had reached a relative level of comfort and maturity. Miles' comitment to the music and the band's comfort level are audible in that these tracks are standout sessions, that are reasonably well recorded. At times the interplay is sparkling as the players dance and weave sonically around each other.

"Miles in Europe" captures the band in the middle of a European tour. To my ears, this is a good but not earthshattering session. The remainder of the live titles find Miles and company in Berlin and Tokyo.
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Format: Audio CD
When they first announced this box's concept years ago, it sounded like it was a bit less cohesive or purposeful than the others. And in fact it is. That's not to say that if you have the money in your pocket you shouldn't buy this. I would say though that if you don't have the money in your pocket, you're just fine on this one to buy it in pieces later.

Disc 1 and the first part of Disc 2 contain the tracks from the two bands/sessions that constitute the "Seven Steps to Heaven" LP. The Los Angeles band/music is generally moody and very much focused on Miles' trumpet; the New York band is more inventive and active behind Miles. The music as mastered here is crystal clear. The alternate takes which exist are nice to hear but don't really teach us very much. This has been, and remains, a good album that represents a unique year in Miles' career.

Discs 2 and 3 contain the Antibes concert formerly released as "In Europe", now augmented with a "Bye Bye Blackbird" we'd not been able to hear previously. The sound is mono but it's quite presentable. The band swings their hardest on this concert, and it's a nice 90 minutes' worth of music that any Miles Davis fan will enjoy.

Discs 4 and 5 contain the famous NAACP benefit show from 1964 that resulted in 2 LPs worth of material, here for the first time put back into playing sequence and containing (a very nice version of) "Autumn Leaves". No Miles fan will want to be without this show as it is well-recorded, played with intensity, and contains definitive versions of a few tracks. This will inevitably be available as a 2-CD set and will be required listening for jazz heads.

Discs 6 and 7, though, are by no means must-hear.
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Format: Audio CD
This terrific 7-disc set bridges the gap between the two great Miles Davis Quintet boxed collections already available from Columbia - the earlier featuring John Coltrane ('55-'60), and the later '60's version with Wayne Shorter ('65-'68).

This 'Seven Steps' box collects Columbia recordings from 1963 and 1964, when all the slots in the later Quintet had been settled but that of the sax chair. So here we have Miles and his rhythm section - Ron Carter on bass, Tony Williams on drums, and Herbie Hancock on piano (except for one studio set with Victor Feldman) - joined by a succession of sax players, ending up with a live disc with Wayne Shorter finally aboard.

Only one studio album represented here - most of the LA and New York sessions of April and May '63 were released as 'Seven Steps to Heaven', with one track showing up on the 'Quiet Nights' LP.

(The remainder of 'Quiet Nights', by the way, is thoroughly covered on the Miles Davis/Gil Evans box set.)

The rest of the box collects the live releases of the period, including notably the Antibes show, and the NYC Philharmonic concert of '64 formerly available in part on 'My Funny Valentine' and 'Four and More'. Here that show appears complete and in sequence across discs 4 and 5.

There are still a few early '60's Miles-on-Columbia odds 'n' ends not yet swept up into one of these Quintet boxes, but all are readily available in recent remastered editions. To get the full sweep you'll still need the 'Someday My Prince Will Come' disc, the 'Complete Friday and Saturday Nights at the Blackhawk' box, the 2-disc 'Complete Carnegie Hall Concert' set, and the magisterial 'Plugged Nickel' box.
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