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Davis, Miles - Seven Steps to Heaven (Mobile Fidelity, 180 Gram, Numbered Vinyl)

Davis, Miles - Seven Steps to Heaven (Mobile Fidelity, 180 Gram, Numbered Vinyl)

Format: LP

UPC: 196588233814

Release Date: 03/27/20

Condition: N

Regular price $59.99 USD
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 The Vibrant Bridge Between Miles Davis' First and Second Great Quintets: Seven Steps to Heaven Teems with Originality, Expressivity, Cohesiveness, and Beauty

Sourced from the Original Analog Master Tapes and Pressed at RTI: Mobile Fidelity 180g SuperVinyl LP Plays with Superb Clarity, Detail, Tone, and Definition

1/4" / 15 IPS / Dolby SR analog remix master to DSD 256 to analog console to lathe

Seven Steps to Heaven arrived at a crucial junction in Miles Davis' career. Recorded at two separate locations in spring 1963, it served as Davis' first release in more than a year – a layoff that was then unprecedented for the jazz visionary who had issued at least one LP a year since debuting in the early '50s. Equally notable, Seven Steps to Heaven marks the point at which the core of Davis' Second Great Quintet started to assemble. The twice Grammy-nominated effort is also Davis' final studio record to blend standards with originals. And it happens to be one of the expressive, well-played albums in the jazz canon.

Sourced from the original master tapes, pressed at RTI, and housed in a Stoughton gatefold jacket, Mobile Fidelity's 180g SuperVinyl LP of Seven Steps to Heaven adds yet another step (or more) towards the bliss suggested by the album title. Playing with standout clarity, detail, tone, and balance, this audiophile reissue pulls back the curtain on the instrumentalists. Afforded the tremendous advantages of SuperVinyl – including a nearly inaudible noise floor, dead-quiet surfaces, and superb groove definition – this numbered-edition version presents Davis and Co. amid a wide, deep soundstage whose dimensions and solidity help bring the record's historical importance and musical merit into focus. Warm, organic, and present, the SuperVinyl LP of Seven Steps to Heaven is what great-sounding hi-fi is all about.

And there's nary a passage on this 1963 landmark that isn't great. That Davis manages to make it feel so cohesive and seamless is a testament to the inspired performances and engaging compositions. Davis didn't draw it up the way it unfolded. No matter. He held trump cards that stayed up his sleeve for the next three decades: A drive to be nothing less than superb, a refusal to settle for mediocrity, and standards to which nearly no other composer or player could match. "The toughest critic I got, and the only one I worry about, is myself," Davis wrote in the liner notes. "The music has to get past me."

Davis' demanding approach partly explains why he switched up his band between the first and second sessions – and underscores how fast his mind was racing with new ideas. Seven Steps to Heaven acts as the stable bridge between the transitional period that followed the dissolution of his First Great Quintet and formation of the Second; without it, Davis perhaps doesn't invite then-23-year-old Herbie Hancock and a still-teenage Tony Williams into the fold. The trumpeter not only got his men – he preserved in amber for the only time (well, magnetic tape anyway) the chemistry and vibe he achieved with pianist Victor Feldman, drummer Frank Butler, tenor saxophonist George Coleman, and bassist Ron Carter.

That lineup gels for half of the six songs on Seven Steps to Heaven. Captured in Los Angeles April '63, the quintet stretches out on a luxurious reading of the late '20s New Orleans staple "Basin Street Blues"; lays on the romance for a candlelit stroll through the '40s standard "I Fall in Love Too Easily"; and explores the rounded contours and melodic crevices of the early blues "Baby Won't You Please Come Home." The performances are refined, elegant, emotional; the band lets the feelings linger and gives the listener time to absorb the colors and textures.

A month later, Davis returned to New York City with Coleman and Carter, and partnered them with Hancock and Williams. Tellingly, the quintet tried its collective hand at the title track and "Joshua" – Feldman-penned songs already recorded in Los Angeles – as well as the yearning "So Near, So Far." Those are the tunes that comprise the other piece of Seven Steps to Heaven, with the revised quintet's liquid pulse, articulate dynamics, and timing shifts a harbinger of things to come.

It's also worth mentioning that the interpretations of the bounding "Seven Steps to Heaven" – a showcase for Davis' trumpet – and interlocking "Joshua" netted considerable radio airplay and attracted the attention of other contemporaries who covered the songs. Keeping Carter and Williams as the rhythmic engine, and Hancock as the anchor between solo flights and structural motifs, Davis would soon soon welcome Wayne Shorter into the family and transform jazz. Again. The aptly – and, in hindsight, perhaps prophetically titled Seven Steps to Heaven – is how he got there.  

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RETURNS
Items may be returned within 60 days of the delivery date.

If not defective, any product returned must be in the same condition in which customer received it and in the original retail packaging.
Yellow Racket will be responsible for cost of return on all damaged or defective items. Customer is responsible for cost of return if item is not damaged or defective. Photo/video evidence of damages/defects must be provided by customer within 14 days of the delivery date.
Customer assumes all responsibility for duties and taxes associated with international shipments.

GRADING

Yellow Racket assigns condition based on the Goldmine Standard for grading records.
New (N) (Not typically included in the Goldmine Standard)
New records are purchased directly from the label, distributor, or registered wholesaler. Records are still sealed. Jackets may have slight shelf wear, but media has never been played.
Mint (M)
Still sealed. Never played. No observable flaws.  Items have been purchased secondhand.
Near Mint (NM)
A Near Mint (NM) record will play perfectly, with no imperfections during playback. The record should show no obvious signs of wear.
The cover (and any additional packaging) has no creases, folds, seam splits, cut-out holes, or other noticeable defects.
Very Good Plus (VG+)
A Very Good Plus (VG+) record will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
Defects should be more of a cosmetic nature, not affecting the actual playback as a whole. Record surfaces may show some signs of wear and may have slight scuffs or very light scratches.
The disc and LP cover may have slight signs of wear, and may be gently marred by spindle marks, paper scuffs, wrinkled corners, etc.
Very Good (VG)
Many of the defects found in a VG+ record will be more pronounced in a VG disc. Surface noise will be evident, but will not overpower the music. Disc may have light scratches (deep enough to feel with a fingernail) that will affect the sound.
Labels, jackets, and inserts will have visible cosmetic flaws such as wrinkles, cut-outs, slight splitting, etc. However, it will usually have less than a dozen minor flaws.
Good (G)
A record in Good condition can be played through without skipping. But it will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. A cover or sleeve will have seam splits, especially at the bottom or on the spine. Tape, writing, ring wear, or other defects will be present.
While the record will be playable without skipping, noticeable surface noise and "ticks" will almost certainly accompany the playback. 
Poor (P), Fair (F)
The record may be cracked, badly warped, or won't play through without skipping or repeating. The picture sleeve may be water damaged, split, or heavily marred by wear and writing.
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