Steps Ahead, one of the most influential fusion groups in the history of the genre, has known many incarnations during the 25 years they have existed. In the year 2007 founding member, vibist/composer Mike Mainieri is the only band member left of the group that made its debut in 1980 with superior Japan recorded albums, of which the live double-album Smoking at the Pit is the best known. At the time, the band, with members like Michael Brecker, Eddie Gomez, Steve Gadd and Don Grolnick, was just called Steps. After Steps' golden days, featuring the royal duo Mainieri/Brecker, the band more and more became a platform for young musicians. The quality of the music, however, remained unprecedented high. Steps Ahead 2007 features next to Mainieri fusion stars like saxophonist Bill Evans and drummer Steve Smith.