The only consolation I can give you on the price of that one is.. there are other CDs for $2 to $3... so if you order a $3 and and $30, you get 2 CD's for the basically what you would spend on 2 new Cd's.. so you can cost average it with some cheap ones, and make yourself feel better.. that's what I try to do.
Bob's playing on that recording, I would have to describe as remarkably INTENSE... beyond belief. The stuff I've read say's that period was when he was trying to kick his addiction. The stuff I've heard of Bob playing Live is simply the best. On this recording, he just seems to leave his soul on the bandstand. It is very spirtual. I would compare it to the spiritualness of A Love Supreme. I don't mean to say its anything like A Love Supreme, I'm just trying to say that if you look at what that album represents in the Coltrane collection, I think Steppin is that album for Bob Berg.
I think Bob has an incredible amount of soul and inspiration in his playing. That's what I love about it... yeah he has a lot of the Brecker style licks in his playing, but they just come off completely different, with a soul and emotion that I just don't get from a lot of other players.
Of his other solo albums, I really enjoy Short Stories followed by Cycles. From top to bottom, I enjoy the tunes on these albums (particularly Short Stories)
Today while searching for Steppin for you, I found Chroma, "Music on the Edge", which was a band that only recorded one album... the band uncluded Bob, Randy Brecker, and Mike Stern... and I also found a Horace Silver DVD with Bob on it, and ordered them both.
If you really want some insight into Bob, shoot a PM to Tim Price. Tim knew Bob, and has nothing but admiration for the guy. He could better articulate the true essence of Bob's playing.