Uncut - p.1594 stars out of 5
- "These seven CDs see him build on the pensive, spacious, elegant style he'd developed with players like John Coltrane and Bill Evans."
Magnet - p.134
"[The recording] provides insight into how the trumpeter brought his genre-transforming creativity to a boil."
The Wire - p.66
"These are almost entirely live recordings, and the contrast with the quintet with Coltrane is striking..."
Down Beat - p.834.5 stars out of 5
- "[The box set] documents trumpeter Davis' ongoing steps away from the studio, as he wrestled with time-tested standards, searched for ideas and tried on different players in the process."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1285 stars out of 5
- "After it, jazz was never the same again."
Initial pressings of SEVEN STEPS are packaged with a deluxe metal spine.
Also includes a 92-page booklet with rare photos, complete discography and essays by Michael Cuscuna and Bob Blumenthal.
Personnel: Miles Davis (trumpet); Miles Davis; Ron Carter (double bass); Tony Ruption Williams , Tony Williams (drums); George Coleman, Sam Rivers, Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone); Victor Feldman, Herbie Hancock (piano); Frank Butler (drums).
Audio Remixer: Mark Wilder.
Liner Note Authors: Michael Cuscuna; Bob Blumenthal.
Recording information: Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Berlin, Germany (04/16/1963-09/19/1964); Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York, NY (04/16/1963-09/19/1964); Columbia Studios, LA (04/16/1963-09/19/1964); Kohseinenkin Hall, Tokyo, Japan (04/16/1963-09/19/1964); Philharmonic Hall, New York, NY (04/16/1963-09/19/1964); The Festival Mondial Du Jazz Antibes, Juan-Les-Pins, Fr (04/16/1963-09/19/1964).
All tracks have been digitally mastered using 24-bit technology.
Introduction bys: Billy Taylor ; Andr‚ Francis; Terry Isono; Mort Fega.
Photographers: Vernon Smith; John Wilkes; Ted Williams ; Joe Alper; Jan Persson; Roger Marshutz; Lee Tanner; Chuck Stewart.
In the 1960s, trumpeter Miles Davis became a star outside of the jazz world, first with what history refers to as "the Quintet" with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock, then with his highly influential post-BITCHES BREW electric bands. But there was a "transitional" period, after John Coltrane left Davis's employ and before the Shorter/Hancock era, which the SEVEN STEPS box set based around the SEVEN STEPS TO HEAVEN album documents in its entirety, often in a live context.
Davis was seeking the right combination of musicians for his sonic flights, where hard-bop and modal styles could be combined with a wide-open, increasingly elastic sound. Before settling on Shorter (present here), he tried the conventionally hearty, blues-accented bop approach of saxophonist George Coleman and the rippling, somewhat more avant-garde Sam Rivers. Both soar and sear at their respective best, providing remarkable contrast to Davis's magically cool horn. UK-born pianist Victor Feldman plays on some tracks, Hancock on others; the drum chair features Tony Williams (also an explorer of avant expression) and Frank Butler (a crackling, swinging mainstream bopper). SEVEN STEPS includes material originally available on the early-'60s albums IN EUROPE and FOUR & MORE, among others, with (attention, collectors!) the inclusion of eight previously unreleased tracks.