With his quintet disbanded, and a tour scheduled for the West Coast, Miles hired George Coleman, who had been recommended by John Coltrane, and Ron Carter, a young graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and very active in the New York scene. Frank Butler, at the time the top Black drummer in L.A., a kind of West Coast Philly Joe Jones, and Victor Feldman, an English pianist, joined them for a recording session. The band’s repertoire reflected Feldman’s influence. He composed “Joshua,” co-composed “Seven Steps To Heaven,” and recommended “So Near, So Far,” composed by two British compatriots. However, only three of the four ballads (played by the quartet without the saxophone) were included in the album. Miles rerecorded the three other more spirited pieces with Tony Williams, the young drummer he had just discovered through Jackie McLean when he returned to New York. Victor Feldman stayed in California, and Herbie Hancock completed this new quintet. For two days, Miles listened to them rehearse over his apartment’s intercom. On the third day, he joined them, and the next day he brought them into the studio. He knew that this group would bring down the house.

Original issue: Columbia LP CS 8851 on July 15, 1963
Producer: Teo Macero
Engineer: Fred Plaut
April 16, 1963 (a)
Miles Davis (tpt); George Coleman (ts – on track 7 only); Victor Feldman (p); Ron Carter (b); Frank Butler (d)
Columbia Studios, Los Angeles April 17, 1963 (b)
Same personnel as April 16, except omit George Coleman (ts)
Columbia Studios, Los Angeles May 14, 1963 (c)
Miles Davis (tpt); George Coleman (ts); Herbie Hancock (p); Ron Carter (b); Tony Williams (d)
Columbia 30th Street Studio, NYC

 

  1. Basin Street Blues [b]
  2. Seven Steps To Heaven [c]
  3. I Fall In Love Too Easily [a]
  4. So Near, So Far [c]
  5. Baby Won’t You Please Come Home [a]
  6. Joshua [c]
  7. So Near, So Far* [a]
  8. Summer Night* [b]

Not on original LP