This is a domestic original Blue Note pressing of a seriously funky '70s Donald Byrd collaboration with the great Mizell Brothers, Larry and Fonce. It has Artisan stamps in the dead wax and comes with the original inner sleeve. I love what the Mizells bring to the table with their production even if it caused jazz purists to wince. The synths and background vocals helped bring this music in line with then-current trends while never sounding forced or insincere. This is one of my favorite mid-'70s Blue Note albums precisely because of the way that it sounds fresh and updated, with Byrd sounding as comfortable and capable as ever.
The sound is incredible -- big and open with excellent transparency and real punch down low. The vinyl plays great with minimal surface noise, it was clearly the quietest of the five copies I pulled out to check it against this week. Dave Hassinger and Val Garay were part of the recording team, names I've seen on a ton of great sounding recordings.
4 stars Allmusic: "Stepping Into Tomorrow contains almost all of the Mizell trademarks within its title track's first 30 seconds: a soft and easy (yet still funky) electric-bass-and-drums foundation, silken rhythm guitar, organ and piano gently bouncing off one another, light synthesizer shading, and coed group vocals to ensure true liftoff."
Vinyl: EX (super clean)
Cover: VG+ (tiny corner/edge wear, light crease on back)
Play notes: Killer sound and quiet vinyl