Following the departure of Jimmy Cobb, Trane, Julian Adderley and others in the early 1960s after the KoB period, `Seven Steps to Heaven' was recorded in LA and in NYC in 1963 and is often described as a `transitional album' for Miles. Others point out that everything Miles ever recorded was in some way `transitional', as he never let the grass grow under his feet and was always on his way to somewhere new.
What is certain is that `Seven Steps to Heaven' is one beautiful album full of cool, stretched-out ballads. It usually fails to make Miles' defining discography of `milestones' only because no new ground was broken, no definitive new style established. However the music is absolutely first class, ambient and repeat-listenable in the way of KoB and `In a Silent Way'.
* On tracks 2, 4 & 6 Herbie Hancock plays piano and Tony Williams is on drums (both destined to become members of Miles' great quintet in the mid-sixties)
* All remaining tracks feature Victor Feldman on keyboards and Frank Butler on drums
* George Coleman plays some fine sax
* Ron Carter plays bass on all tracks
All in all a great album and a fine, mellow mood-piece from the period preceding Miles' move towards jazz-fusion resulting in the great defining masterworks `In a Silent Way' and the seminal `Bitches Brew'.
It's good. If you like Miles Davis, and particularly the more mellow ballads, you'll love it.