Seven Steps to Heaven (composition)

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"Seven Steps to Heaven"
Seven Steps to Heaven cover.jpg
Composition by Miles Davis from the album Seven Steps to Heaven
Released 1963
Recorded May 14, 1963
Genre Jazz
Length 6:26
Label Columbia
Composer Victor Feldman & Miles Davis[1]
Producer Teo Macero
Seven Steps to Heaven track listing
  1. "Basin Street Blues"
  2. "Seven Steps to Heaven"
  3. "I Fall in Love Too Easily"
  4. "So Near, So Far"
  5. "Baby Won't You Please Come Home"
  6. "Joshua"

"Seven Steps to Heaven" is a 1963 jazz composition by the English jazz pianist Victor Feldman and the jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. Different lyrics to it were written much later by singer Cassandra Wilson and jazz lyricist and singer Jon Hendricks. This iconic jazz standard was introduced in 1963 by the Miles Davis Quintet.[1] Although Feldman played and recorded with Davis in Los Angeles on Seven Steps to Heaven,[2] and he appears on half of the tracks of the album, the West Coast-based pianist did not want to follow Davis to New York, where the album version of the composition was finally recorded with Herbie Hancock on piano.[3]

Form and lead sheet[edit]

  • This 32 bar composition is in a AABA form, it has an intro, an interlude and an ending - but these are the same.[4]
  • It was originally played in an up-tempo swing style.[1] It also feature a number of stops - making it a popular piece with jazz drummers.[5]

‖: F7 | E7 | F7 | E7 :‖
‖: FMaj Bø | Eø A7+9 | Dm A7 G7 | G7 |
| Gm | C7 |Eb^6_9 E^{b9}_6 F6| :‖
| CM | Dm G7 Em | CM | Fm B7 |
| EMaj | A- D7 | GMaj | Gm C7 |
‖ FM Bø Eø A7+9 | Dm A7 G7 | G7 |
| Gm | C7 | Eb^6_9 E^{b9}_6 F6 | |
| F7 | E7 | F7 | E7 | F7 | E7 | FM | FM ||
‖: FM | Eø A7+9 | Dm | G7 | Gm | C7 | E7 | E7 :‖
| CM | Dm G7| Em | Fm B7 | EM | A- D7 | GM | Gm C7 ||
‖ FM | Eø A7+9 | Dm | G7 | Gm | C7 | E7 | E7 ‖
‖ FM | Eb^6_9 E^{b9}_6 F6 | | | | | | Eb^6_9 E^{b9}_6 F6‖

Chorus Lyrics by Jon Hendricks:

One two three four five six seven,
that's heaven.
Seven six five four three two one,
life's begun.
Remember that man first began perfect as a star
There we were, here we are
One two three four five six seven,
home heaven.

Renditions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Aebersold, Jamey (1995). Jamey Aebersold Play-A-Long - Volume 50 - The Magic of Miles. Jamey Aebersold Jazz Inc. pp. ii. ISBN 1-56224-209-1. 
  2. ^ The two Los Angeles (i.e. the first ever recorded) versions of “Seven Steps to Heaven” appear on the CD-box set Seven Steps: The Complete Columbia Recordings of Miles Davis 1963-1964 (Columbia, 2004).
  3. ^ Chambers, Jack. Milestones 2: The Music and Times of Miles Davis Since 1960, Da Capo Press, 1998. pp. 53ff.
  4. ^ Levine, Mark (1995). The Jazz theory Book. Sher Music Co. p. 393. 
  5. ^ transcription of drum parts - during the stops retrieved 28th of May 2012

See also[edit]