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DAVID CROSS

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United Kingdom


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David Cross picture
David Cross biography
Born 1949-04-23 (Turnchapel, UK)

Best known as the violinist for the 1972-1974 incarnation of KING CRIMSON which produced such classics as "Larks' Tongues In Apsic" and "Red", many don't know that David CROSS released a handful of solo albums, which have featured such musicians as Keith TIPPETT, John WETTON, Robert FRIPP and Peter HAMMILL. David's solo work tends to be very jazzy (though there are some CRIMSON-esque moments) and unfortunately his albums are now for the most part quite difficult to find.

CROSS' best album is unquestionably his 1997 record "Exiles". It features all of the above mentioned guests (aside from TIPPETT) and probably sounds the most like KING CRIMSON out of any of them, thanks largely to FRIPP's guitar and WETTON's vocals. 1994's "Testing to Destruction" is also worth a listen. Liking KING CRIMSON is no guarantee that you'll like David CROSS. He has a style very distinct from the band he's best known for playing with, and he's suggested more to fans of jazz fusion than the straight ahead prog that KC is known for.

: : : Bryan Adair, CANADA : : :

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Crossing The TracksCrossing The Tracks
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Shut Up, You Fucking Baby!Shut Up, You Fucking Baby!
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DAVID CROSS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

DAVID CROSS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.72 | 21 ratings
Low Flying Aircraft: Low Flying Aircraft
1987
3.09 | 19 ratings
Memos From Purgatory
1989
3.24 | 23 ratings
The Big Picture
1992
3.36 | 31 ratings
Testing To Destruction
1994
3.65 | 50 ratings
Exiles
1997
4.04 | 28 ratings
Closer Than Skin
2005
2.37 | 11 ratings
David Cross & Andrew Keeling: English Sun
2009
3.30 | 31 ratings
David Cross & Robert Fripp: Starless Starlight
2015
3.27 | 18 ratings
Cross & Quinn: Cold Sky Blue
2016
3.84 | 58 ratings
David Cross Band: ‎Sign Of The Crow
2016
3.48 | 28 ratings
Cross & Jackson: Another Day
2018
3.83 | 12 ratings
Crossing The Tracks
2018

DAVID CROSS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.97 | 10 ratings
Alive In The Underworld
2008

DAVID CROSS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DAVID CROSS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DAVID CROSS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

DAVID CROSS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cross & Jackson: Another Day by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.48 | 28 ratings

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Cross & Jackson: Another Day
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by The Jester

3 stars I think I should begin by introducing these two excellent musicians to those who don't know them.

David Cross was the violin player of King Crimson, during the years 1972 ? 1974 and participated in the albums Larks Tongues in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black and Red. Further than King Crimson, he played with many famous musicians and recorded lots of solo albums.

David Jackson has been the saxophone player and a former member of Van Der Graaf Generator, until 2008. He also played with lots of musicians during his long career, like Peter Gabriel and Peter Hammill for example.

This year, the two David's decided to unite their musical forces and the result was the album Another Day that was released a few months ago.

Another Day is an all-instrumental album, having as basic instruments the electric violin by David Cross and the saxophones of David Jackson, accompanied by bass, keyboards and drums. The style of the album is Jazz-Rock and it is not so easy to listen to, especially if you are not familiar with this specific music style. Personally speaking, I found it difficult to get used to it, and I'm not sure if I can appreciate it to the level it should be appreciated.

There are some beautiful and melodic songs included here, like for example Going Nowhere, Millenium Toll and Anthem for Another Day, mixed with some others more Jazzy ones, which I didn't like so much to be honest.

My rating would be 3.0 stars

 Low Flying Aircraft: Low Flying Aircraft by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.72 | 21 ratings

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Low Flying Aircraft: Low Flying Aircraft
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by WFV

3 stars This really is an interesting recording. I don't love it, nor hate it, I'm somewhere in the middle. I'd call this music jazz for sure, I guess I'd label it avant fusion. This album reminds me of King Crimson's Lizard as well as some albums I've heard from Pat Metheny. For me, the flow is herky jerky and the songs don't segue well into one another. I like the album cover a lot, and I also really like the track Poolside. It's always nice to hear acoustic piano in a fusion setting and even with fifty or so listens under my belt I feel there's still room for Low Flying Aircraft to grow on me. The fact that the violin is not the dominant instrument here will keep me coming back.
 Cross & Jackson: Another Day by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.48 | 28 ratings

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Cross & Jackson: Another Day
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Purgatory Stands

David Jackson have recently been joining the David Cross Band as a special guest at their live performances, playing David Cross Band material as well as a few King Crimson classics plus George Martin's Theme One, that was covered by Jackson's Van der Graaf Generator in their early days. Personally, I am hoping very much that a live album and/or live video of one of these performances will emerge.

Another Day is a totally different beast however, being the result of a collaborative effort of David Cross and David Jackson. This album is more of a Jazz-Rock/Fusion album, compared to the Heavy Prog of the David Cross Band. The most similar to Another Day among Cross' solo albums is probably his first, Memos from Purgatroy, from 1989. David Jackson's 1992 solo album Tonewall Stands can also be a relevant reference.

The music on Another Day is completely instrumental and driven by Cross' violins and Jackson's saxophones. The two instrumentalists are backed by drums and bass, handled by Craig Blundell and Mick Paul respectively. The result is high quality fusion that showcases Cross and Jackson on their respective instruments.

Another Day is an enjoyable listen, and is worth having if you are a fan of Cross' and Jackson's careers outside of their respective bands.

 Exiles by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.65 | 50 ratings

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Exiles
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by AndreasGHB

3 stars Mostly quite good but ultimately far from essential. Truthfully this album turned out to be pretty much how I expect it to be. This album came to my attention because of the two Peter Hammill vocals, and that's actually the main reason for me to keep it. The two PH vocals, particularly "Tonk", which also features Robert Fripp, are reminescent of "Disengage" on Fripp's "Exposure" album, and make wish the two would collaborate more. Wetton's vocals on "Exiles" are fine, but ultimately not as good as the original and don't really add anything. "This is Your Life", the other Wetton vocal, sounds like Asia ? YUCK! The only real bummer on the album. Overall, other than that one track, I can't say anything negative about the album. The compositions are fine and the playing is very good, but, as many of the other reviews have said, I don't see myself going back to this album much. It's a perfectly decent album, but just not very memorable.
 David Cross & Robert Fripp: Starless Starlight by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.30 | 31 ratings

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David Cross & Robert Fripp: Starless Starlight
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars David Cross is usually remembered as the weakest link in the classic mid-'70s line-up of King Crimson, by his own admission unable to compete with the "flying brick wall" of the Wetton-Bruford rhythm section on stage. And yet of all the early Crimson alumni (aside from Robert Fripp, currently taking a back seat in his own band) Cross is the only member still going strong, recording and touring with his integrity uncompromised after more than forty years.

For this unique reunion the two ex-bandmates took an affectionate backward glance at an old flame, in a series of linked instrumental pieces "derived from" the haunted opening notes of the 1974 "Red" album swan song. The poignant theme was originally conceived by Cross and Fripp "in some sort of collaboration", according to the violinist in his album notes. "He remembers me starting it and him finishing it off."

The end result is a 56-minute inflation of a 10-second refrain, arranged as a near-continuous flow of unearthly and hypnotic music sounding like snowfall gently settling on a quiet woodland floor. Fripp's ethereal soundscapes almost disappear completely into radiant stasis at times, while Cross improvises equally dreamy accompaniment on top. The violinist may have felt inhibited in the 1970s by his fellow Crimson Kings, but his confidence and skills have advanced considerably since then, and today his playing soars with all the virtuoso poise of a genuine artist.

Ditto Mr. Fripp, who for this project (not a ProjeKct, alas) exhumed the standard guitar tuning he abandoned in the early 1980s. Those lingering Frippertronic loops serve the music well, giving the old song an orchestral sweep that doesn't fit the Jazz Rock slot David Cross has been forced to inhabit in these archives.

The album can sound a little repetitive after exploring the same, small patch of ground for almost a full hour: it's too bad the duo couldn't extend the experiment to include soundscape-and-violin revisions of other Crim snippets, "Exiles" for instance, or "Larks' Tongues in Aspic". On a shallow cosmetic level the music also carries an occasional hint of New Age mush, but the understated strength of the source material is enough to raise it far above any mundane plateau of superficial bliss.

 David Cross Band: ‎Sign Of The Crow by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.84 | 58 ratings

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David Cross Band: ‎Sign Of The Crow
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars The best album King Crimson never made

Sign Of The Crow is the second release and the first studio album to be credited to David Cross Band (rather than just simply David Cross). The first time the full band moniker was used was for the excellent live album Alive In The Underworld released in 2008. The leader of the band is obviously David Cross himself, best known from his participation in King Crimson between 1972 and 1974. The rest of the band is made up of Paul Clark on guitars, Mick Paul on bass, Jinian Wilde on vocals, and Craig Blundell on drums, with Alex Hall contributing keyboards to some of the tracks. Cross himself also plays keyboards in addition to his main instrument the electric violin. Personally, I love the violin in a Rock context and appreciate bands who use it like Curved Air, UK, and FM.

Even though this new album comes a little over a decade after David Cross' previous Rock album, 2005's Closer Than Skin, there is nonetheless a natural continuation between that album and the present one. Both Closer Than Skin and Sign Of The Crow are excellent progressive Rock albums in the vein of King Crimson during Cross' time with that band only more melodic and less experimental - and, in my opinion, much better! The Jazz-Rock/Fusion categorisation Cross has received here is really only appropriate for his first solo album. Most of his albums are more fittingly categorised as Eclectic Prog.

Sign Of The Crow has a nice flow and variation. Highlights include the opener Starfall, the title track, and the folky The Pool, but the whole album is strong. It is quite incredible that someone who entered the music business such a long time ago is producing his best albums in recent years, but that is indeed what David Cross (born 1949) is doing. In my opinion, Sign Of The Crow is the best record David Cross has ever made!

Highly recommended together with Closer Than Skin and Alive In The Underworld. Now, I'm hoping that another live release (preferably a full length concert on DVD video) will follow featuring songs from the present album as well as some of the best songs from Cross' previous solo albums plus a wealth of King Crimson classics.

 David Cross Band: ‎Sign Of The Crow by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.84 | 58 ratings

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David Cross Band: ‎Sign Of The Crow
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This release will open up new audiences to the, somewhat lost in the crowd, King Crimson ex member David Cross.

For starters "Sign of the Crow", 2016, is closer to the Rock METAL categories, rather than Jazz or Fusion as such and by far.

The "David Cross Band", the actual name in this title's release and their sixth studio album, uncovers most of the mystery of this sound as their line up since 2008 will show.- Jinian Wilde their vocalist, leading drummer Craig Blundell, composer/guitarist Paul Clark and composer/bassist Mick Paul and adding up in this release keyboardist Alex Hall, and evidently David Cross on violin and music writing.

The Metal attitude contrasts with the more acoustic oriented Cross, thus adding a meltdown of moods, which counterpoint constantly and excitingly. This band has been polishing this music style's crossroads, considering also that some members have their own mothership bands and projects, thus summing up different approaches and experiments, from fast paced frantic tracks to more dream like, acoustic ballads, but never falling far from the "metallic" tree.

The Experimental/Post Metal or Progressive Metal taggings, I have been suggested, will fit this band and album, and I, knowing the unassumed importance and irrelevance of enclosing music in between boxes, will be the first to state how important this labelings are for its distibution to target audiences and obviously for its proper marketing, but in actual fact I have heard "heavier" Heavy Metal in non Metal categories ( i.e. in this same PA's address noisy neighbor Jeff Beck), so I leave its labeling to you my friend.

Anyway,back to the music. Daring, highly suited as an ensemble adding up for multiple creativeness by all members. A strange kind of clash which acts as an incentive for all kind of focuses and directions, kept in size, somehow by the vocals, which opposite to most bands, are part of the act and not the full show, as few bands can do.

****4 PA stars.

 Cross & Quinn: Cold Sky Blue by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.27 | 18 ratings

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Cross & Quinn: Cold Sky Blue
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is the kind of release that will hardly "knock your socks off" but will return to your attention when you know the kind of mood it requires for its full enjoyment.

For starters this is not groundbreaking material nor a bombastic release, opposite to that "CROSS & QUINN: COLD SKY BLUE", 2016, is a slow paced, heartfelt (sometimes a bit too much, like track 4), emotional, nocturnal and romantic journey, which travels through very difficult grounds, the 80s' style like ones, or better yet, the recreation of the most refined and rescuable parts of those.

And believe it or not David Cross and Sťamus Quinn pull it through with extreme decor, which is almost a miracle. (At times you could bet Robert Fripp is guest, but you will lose the bet.)

As told, once you know what to expect, it turns out to be quiet pleasurable to listen to.

Anyway, it beholds some great moments, nevertheless not exactly flawless as a whole. If expecting Jazz or Fusion this is the wrong place to look for those styles.

***3 PA stars.

 Exiles by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.65 | 50 ratings

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Exiles
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progresearcher

4 stars I wonder why David Cross is labelled as a jazz rock/fusion musician here. I can only imagine how many potential fans of his solo work (which has almost nothing to do with that genre, unlike King Crimson circa 1973), have closed the musician's section right away after seeing this nonsensical statement. Three friends of mine would probably never have known that most, if not all, of the albums released under the 'moniker' of the David Cross Band represent classic symphonic progressive rock with elements of prog-metal had I not explained to them what is true and what is wrong. There are three DCB albums in my collection, namely "The Big Picture", "Testing for Destruction" and "Exiles". The first two of them are both masterpieces of the said genre(s), IMO, whereas the latter, while being an excellent album overall, is slightly inferior to either of its two predecessors. I like it much more when there is only one lead singer on any album, but not two, especially when such different as Peter Hammill and John Wetton, this factor a contrast to the album's stylistic conception. Also, David's (instantly recognizable) almost monolithically unique atmosphere gets here distorted by two very Crimsonesque compositions, the title one (which was originally written by Cross himself for "Larks' Tongues in Aspic") and 'Tonk' (with its heavy, typical Frippian guitar riffs), and also an anthem-like ballad 'This is Your Life'. It is a good thing that the instrumental arrangements are interesting almost throughout the album, including the 'Crimsonics'. Either way, David Cross remains one of the few Prog-veterans who still create music of the quality of the 70s.
 Closer Than Skin by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.04 | 28 ratings

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Closer Than Skin
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars More than close

Despite the fact that both Robert Fripp and John Wetton (as well as Peter Hammill of Van Der Graaf Generator) contributed as guests to his previous record Exiles, Closer Than Skin is the David Cross solo album that comes closest to the sound of King Crimson of which Cross was a member between 1972 and 1974. The band that Cross assembled around himself here is really strong and they are a very solid unit as also evidenced by the very good live album Alive In The Underworld recorded shorty afterwards. The material presented here is also strong and I would say that not only is this Cross' best studio album as a solo artist but it is also better than anything released by King Crimson since the 1970's! However, the aforementioned live album is the optimal place to start with David Cross as that album gives a better overview of his whole career featuring several King Crimson songs as well as songs from most of his solo albums including two from the present album.

Being Cross' main instrument, the violin is of course omnipresent in this music but he leaves equal space to the other members. Guitars, vocals, bass and drums are excellently played and important elements. There is however less keyboards than on previous records. This music rocks rather hard and occasionally approaches Metal territory. In those moments where the music takes on a Middle Eastern flavour the band Orphaned Land comes to mind! Also Fates Warning can be a relevant comparison at some points.

When I first started listening to this album I thought that many of the songs sounded similar to each other, but on many further listens they started to distinguish themselves more and the album as a whole kept growing on me. Closer Than Skin is a very good album! If I should complain about something is has to be the fairly dull cover picture.

Highly recommended in addition to Alive In The Underworld

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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