It’s A Beautiful Day – It’s A Beautiful Day (1969)

Artist Credit
Val Fuentes Drums, Vocals
Mitchell Holman Bass, Guitar (Bass), Harmonica, Vocals
It’s a Beautiful Day Primary Artist
Matthew Katz Producer
David LaFlamme Composer, Flute, Producer, Violin, Vocals
Linda LaFlamme Celeste, Composer, Harpsichord, Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Piano (Electric)
Brian Ross-Myring Engineer
Pattie Santos Bells, Percussion, Tambourine, Vocals
Bruce Steinberg Cover Design, Harmonica, Photography
Hal Wagenet Guitar, Vocals
Vince Wallace Composer

Although they are not one of the better-known San Francisco bands to have emerged from the ballroom circuit of the late ’60s and early ’70s, It’s a Beautiful Day were no less memorable for their unique progressive rock style that contrasted well with the Bay Area psychedelic scene. Led by David LaFlamme (flute/violin/vocals) and his wife, Linda LaFlamme (keyboards), the six-piece unit on this album vacillates between light and ethereal pieces such as the lead-off cut, “White Bird,” to the heavier, prog rock-influenced “Bombay Calling.” One of the most distinct characteristics of It’s a Beautiful Day is their instrumentation. The prominence of David LaFlamme — former violin soloist with the Utah Symphony and original member of Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks — adds a refinement to It’s a Beautiful Day’s sound. Likewise, the intricate melodies — mostly composed by the LaFlammes — are structured around the band’s immense virtuosity, a prime example being the exquisitely haunting harpsichord-driven “Girl With No Eyes.” The noir framework, as well as lyrics such as “…she’s just a reflection of all of the time I’ve been high,” point rather candidly to the hallucinogenic nature of the song’s — if not the band’s — influences. The same can be said of the languidly eerie “Bulgaria.” The almost chant-like quality of the track slowly crescendos into an hypnotic and dreamlike sonic journey — led by LaFlamme’s brilliant violin work. By virtue of being a Bay Area fixture in the late ’60s, It’s a Beautiful Day could also easily double as a hippie dance band — which they can also execute with great aplomb — as the wildly up-tempo “Time Is” amply proves. It’s a Beautiful Day remains as a timepiece and evidence of how sophisticated rock & roll had become in the fertile environs of the San Francisco music scene.

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