It's a Beautiful Day — Live at the Fillmore '68
(Classic Music Vault CMV0220, 1968/2013, CD+DVD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-08-21
The two disc package at hand contains two very different things: a CD of the live band in 1968, almost ten months before the release of their self-titled debut album, and a documentary DVD The David Laflamme Story, which focuses on the singer, violinist and bandleader, with interviews and footage of the band playing live interspersed – mostly the current version of the band in 2012, with clips from 1978, 1980, and all the years between, plus some still images from back in the early days. It gives the viewer a good retrospective of the band’s career from the very beginning. The current seven-piece edition of the band is the longest running version with no personnel changes, and because of that probably the tightest band throughout IABD’s history, and the live footage here bears this out. The interview features guest appearances by Barry Melton (CJ&F) and Peter Albin (BBHC) plus San Francisco Chronicle music writer Joel Selvin, who give some additional perspective.
The CD takes us back 45 years to a point when the band had only been together a little over a year, and although they were becoming known in their home base of San Francisco, it would be another year before their debut album introduced them to the outside world. The material is culled from three nights at the Fillmore (May 23, 24, and 25, 1968), at a time when the band was a five-piece with no guitarist. There are early live (and in several cases radically different) versions of all seven cuts on the band’s debut album, along with three more worthy numbers (“Changes,” “Countryside,” and “Love for You”) that never made it to any album. For recordings that were never intended for release, the quality is very respectable. This writer has heard the original bootlegs of all three shows that these cuts were taken from, and a lot of clean-up work has been done to improve the sound. All taken this is a welcome addition to the It’s a Beautiful Day canon; one can only hope there are more early recordings from this era that will find a release in the future.
Related artist(s): It's a Beautiful Day
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more