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Reviews: Miles Davis: Seven Steps to Heaven

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Reviews: 4

Review by JW May 27, 2003 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This 1963 album is another one in Miles' classical jazz tradition. Swapping out Wynton Kelly for Herbie Hancock meant a slight change in character as compared to the "Someday My Prince Will Come" release from 2 years earlier. Miles Davis was in the process of forming a new band and that's why you see both Victor Feldman and Herbie Hancock featured on this disc (Later on Victor declined the invitation to be Miles' piano man). But overall this album continues in much of the same tradition as the work mentioned above but Herbie Hancock introduced a somewhat more adventurous style in my view. His piano work, especially on 'Seven Steps To Heaven' is more modern and at times improvisational when he uses almost counterpoints and sometimes even slightly dissonant notes (track 6).

There are three ballads here (track 1,3 and 5); the others are more uptempo tunes. The emotion that Miles communicated through his slower playing never ceases to grab me. It's more 'gritty' than Chet Baker who tends to be more melodious. ON this album I could hear a certain sadness come through - I have no knowledge about his state of mind at the time :-). I sense it when he starts the slow, hesitant and brittle intro to 'Basin Street Blues'. A similar mood I detect in 'Baby Won't You Please Come Home'.

The sound quality on this JSACD is pretty good though not on the same level the other JSACD's I also reviewed here. I hear a slightly recessed character to the sound that the others don't seem to have.

Jw

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Review by DeSelby February 13, 2005 (2 of 4 found this review helpful)
Sonics:
stereo sonics: the bass is slightly dull, but in all it is a very good sound

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Review by tentimestwenty November 5, 2006 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
For my money, the best Miles JSACD. Betters the CD by a good margin, especially in background blackness.

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Review by analogue December 1, 2011 (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
From start to finish this is one great sacd. Its also a Japanese mastered/ import disc which makes it all the more impressive. The original recording is from 1963 just before Miles Davis moved onto other musical styles and directions.

If you're reading this I dont need to tell you who Miles Davis is or how important he was/is to jazz. This entire album is simply a beautiful listen. His trumpet playing, the bass work, sax , piano and drums..is all awesome sounding. The whole disc is very relaxing ......even several of the faster tracks still sooth the soul so to speak. Most of the tracks are slow in speed and feature fantastic trumpet playing by Davis. This disc captures the rawness and innovative character of his trumpet.
Its simply magical in quality and feel. The entire album form start to finish is a fantastic listen and a joy to hear and experience.

Davis and band recorded this album in California rather than New York and I think that perhaps thats another reason to the really meditative sound. Perhaps a more romantic quality...hard to say.

There are a whole slew of Japanese mastered sacd's that one can buy. Some are outstanding while others require a real love for the guys complete cannon of work. But this disc...anyone would love. Its classic Davis in every sense of the word. Seven steps to heaven is truly a jazz gem.

Again some reviewers complain to a tinny quality to the sound but its dependant on ones system.

This sacd is not cheap but its worth the money.

Highly recommended.

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