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Miles Davis’ Seven Steps Set Due in Sept.

Columbia/Legacy will release Seven Steps: The Complete Columbia Recordings of Miles Davis, 1963-64-a seven-disc box set commemorating Davis’ early work with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams (his second classic quintet)-on September 28, 2004. The label will also release Hancock’s V.S.O.P.: Live Under the Sky-a two-disc reissue featuring 10 previously unreleased tracks-on August 17, 2004.

Seven Steps-the seventh edition to the Miles Davis deluxe box set series that includes The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions and The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions-offers 47 tracks, eight of which are previously unreleased and three of which appear in their unedited form for the first time. The set will also include a 92-page color booklet containing dozens of rare and unpublished photographs, as well as liner notes by Bob Blumenthal and an introduction by Michael Cuscuna, who produced the set along with Bob Belden.

Davis and bassist Carter joined forces in 1963 when Davis put together a new band consisting of tenor saxophonist George Coleman, alto saxophonist Frank Strozier and pianist Harold Mabern. Davis wanted 17-year-old Williams to join as their drummer, but since Williams had a previous commitment to Jackie McLean, Frank Butler joined. Later that year, Davis was able to secure Williams and added Hancock due to dissatisfaction with Strozier and Mabern.

The quintet of Davis, Hancock, Williams, Coleman and Carter began recording and playing together ruthlessly, but Coleman decided to resign in the spring of 1964. Coleman was briefly replaced by Sam Rivers and was finally replaced by Shorter in the fall of that year. This final lineup recorded most of the works on Seven Steps.

The box set details the evolution of six different Davis albums: Seven Steps to Heaven, Miles Davis in Europe, My Funny Valentine, Four & More, Miles in Tokyo and Miles in Berlin. Here’s a complete track list (* denotes a previously unreleased track):

Disc 1

*1. Joshua (A) 5:24

(Victor Feldman)

2. I Fall In Love Too Easily (A) 6:44

(S. Cahn-J. Styne)

3. Baby, Won’t You Please Come Home (A) 8:25

(C. Warfield-C. Williams)

4. So Near, So Far (A) 5:11

(A. J. Crombie-B. Green)

5. Basin Street Blues (A) 10:27

(Spencer Williams)

*6. Seven Steps To Heaven (take 3) (A) 5:29

(V. Feldman-M. Davis)

*7. Seven Steps To Heaven (take 5) (A) 6:11

8. Summer Nights (A) 6:01

(A. Dubin-H. Warren)

Disc 2

*1. Seven Steps To Heaven (rehearsal take) (B) 6:57

2. Seven Steps To Heaven (B) 6:23

3. So Near, So Far (B) 6:56

4. Joshua (B) 6:58

5. Introduction by Andre Francis (C) 1:00

6. Autumn Leaves (C) 13:55


7. Milestones (C) 9:17

(Miles Davis)

8. I Thought About You (C) 11:48

(J. Mercer-J. Van Heusen)

Disc 3

1. Joshua (C) 11:36

2. All Of You (C) 16:54

(Cole Porter)

3. Walkin’ (C) 16:14

(Richard Carpenter)

*4. Bye Bye Blackbird (C) 16:47

(M. Dixon-R. Henderson)

*5. Bye Bye (theme) (C) 6:06

Disc 4

1. Introduction by Mort Fega (D) 2:49

*2. Autumn Leaves (D) 10:40

3. So What (D) 9:11

(Miles Davis)

4. Stella By Starlight (D) 12:53

(V. Young-N. Washington)

5. Walkin’ (D) 8:07

6. All Of You (D) 14:40

7. Go-Go (theme and announcement) (D) 1:44

Disc 5

1. Introduction by Billy Taylor (D) 1:10

2. All Blues (D) 8:55

(Miles Davis)

3. My Funny Valentine (D) 14:54

(R. Rodgers-L. Hart)

4. Joshua (D) 9:35

5. I Thought About You (D) 11:18

6. Four (D) 6:15

(Miles Davis) Prestige Music BMI

7. Seven Steps To Heaven (D) 7:53

8. There Is No Greater Love (D) 10:02

(M. Symes-I. Jones)

9. Go-Go (theme and announcement) (D) 1:44

Disc 6

1. Introduction by Teruo Isono (E) 1:10

2. If I Were A Bell (E) 10:15

(Frank Loesser)

3. My Funny Valentine (E) 12:49

4. So What (E) 8:03

5. Walkin’ (E) 9:13

6. All Of You (E) 11:18

7. Go-Go (theme) (E) 1:20

Disc 7

1. Milestones (F) 8:58

2. Autumn Leaves (F) 12:38

3. So What (F) 10:27

*4. Stella By Starlight (F) 12:54

5. Walkin’ (F) 10:40

6. Go-Go (theme) (F) 1:46

Hancock’s Live Under the Sky is a two-disc live recording from July 26 and 27, 1979 at the Denon Colosseum in Tokyo, Japan that features the keyboardist’s V.S.O.P. quintet. It’s the same band on the forthcoming Davis set, minus Davis, whose chair is filled by Freddie Hubbard. The recording offers songs like “On Green Dolphin Street,” “Eye of the Hurricane,” “Tear Drops” and “One of Another Kind.” The CD reissue of Live Under the Sky, which was originally a double LP, contains 10 previously unissued tracks and new liner note commentary by Hancock himself. Here’s a track list (* denotes a previously unreleased track):

Disc 1

1. Opening

2. Eye of the Hurricane*

3. Tear Drops

4. Domo

5. Para Oriente

6. Pee Wee

7. One of Another Kind

8. Fragile

Disc 2

1. Opening*

2. Eye of the Hurricane*

3. Tear Drops*

4. Domo*

5. Para Oriente*

6. Pee Wee*

7. One of Another Kind*

8. Fragile*

9. Stella by Starlight*

10. On Green Dolphin Street*

V.S.O.P., which formed in 1977 and recorded Live Under the Sky in 1979 as one of the first-ever digital recordings. The concert was recorded directly to a Sony 1610 tape-the first step in the production of digital recordings-under the guidance of David Rubinson.

Columbia/Legacy is also releasing Hancock’s solo album, The Piano, which was previously only available as a limited edition album in Japan. The Piano will be released on August 17, 2004.

For more information on these recordings, visit

Originally Published