It’s a Beautiful Day – Choice Quality Stuff/Anytime (1971)

Artist Credit
José Chepitó Areas Percussion
Bill Atwood Trumpet
Coke Escovedo Percussion
Bob Ferreira Saxophone
Tom Fowler Bass
Val Fuentes Drums, Vocals
Bill Gregory Guitar
Mitchell Holman Bass, Harmonica, Vocals
Van Hughes Trombone
It’s a Beautiful Day Primary Artist
David LaFlamme Flute, Violin, Vocals
Sid Page Violin
Charles Peterson Saxophone
Gregg Rolie Keyboards
Pattie Santos Percussion, Vocals
Bruce Steinberg Cover Design, Harmonica, Photography
Rolf Stuart Flute
Hal Wagenet Guitar, Vocals
Fred Webb Keyboards, Vocals

Choice Quality Stuff/Anytime is not only the third long-player from It’s a Beautiful Day, it also includes a personnel unique from either of its predecessors. This revolving-door musical cast ultimately resulted in decades of litigation. Perhaps most importantly, it also accounts for the disparate musical styles accompanying all three of the band’s albums. Further, it was during the creation of this disc that lineup number two was replaced by lineup number three — netting a separate band for the “Choice Quality Stuff” side and the “Anytime” side. It’s a Beautiful Day, in essence, was becoming somewhat of a loose aggregate of Bay Area “all stars” by 1972. When the dust eventually settled, listeners were treated to notable contributions from Santana members Jose Chepitó Areas (percussion), Coke Escovedo (percussion), and Gregg Rolie (keyboards), as well as Bill Atwood (trumpet) — who had already begun making a name for himself with contributions to Malo — Cold Blood, and the Grateful Dead. The album also includes licks from Bruce Steinberg (mouth harp), who was better known for his LP cover artwork than musical abilities. A pleasant surprise is that this incarnation is as interesting in the grooves — on tracks such as “Words” or “Bitter Wine” — as they might seem on paper. However, any enthusiasts of the progressive rock leanings on their first release or even the decidedly pastoral work of Marrying Maiden would have been, quite frankly, at a loss for a majority of Choice Quality Stuff/Anytime. There is a distinct blues-based rock & roll attitude on “Creed of Love” and “Bye Bye Baby,” which are more similar to Brit bluesmen John Mayall and Jeff Beck than any previous It’s a Beautiful Day outing. This album is far from a washout. It is likewise remote in its musical representation of the band’s previous sound.

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