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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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DAVID CROSS discography


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

3.67 | 24 ratings
Low Flying Aircraft: Low Flying Aircraft
1987
3.08 | 21 ratings
Memos From Purgatory
1989
3.26 | 28 ratings
The Big Picture
1992
3.40 | 37 ratings
Testing To Destruction
1994
3.65 | 61 ratings
Exiles
1997
4.06 | 36 ratings
Closer Than Skin
2005
2.42 | 12 ratings
David Cross & Andrew Keeling: English Sun
2009
3.27 | 36 ratings
David Cross & Robert Fripp: Starless Starlight
2015
3.27 | 18 ratings
Cross & Quinn: Cold Sky Blue
2016
3.84 | 62 ratings
David Cross Band: ‎Sign Of The Crow
2016
3.51 | 35 ratings
Cross & Jackson: Another Day
2018
3.63 | 19 ratings
Crossing The Tracks
2018
3.17 | 4 ratings
David Cross & Andrew Booker: Ends Meeting
2018
3.33 | 24 ratings
David Cross & Peter Banks - Crossover
2020

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

3.93 | 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
 Exiles by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.65 | 61 ratings

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Exiles
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars First very Krimsonic and high quality prog album by Cross as far as I am concerned. Previous efforts had some bright moments but further away from KC and also a couple of tedious 80's songs. Thankfully, Cross never entered a commercial or sell-out path following and followed his current music preferences. Joined by quite a stellar line-up including previous bandmates, expectations are high.

"Exiles" is more a nostalgic than enriching listening experience, no necessarily a needed cover. Then follow some heavy 70's or 90's KC inspired numbers like "Tonk". Hammill makes a good vocal which surprised as I don't like his VDGG vocals. The interesting aspect is very subdued use of violin. "Slippy side" provides a more immersive experience, great irregular beats and hearable violin.

"Duo" is a showcase for lyrical violin and synths, not so memorable but relaxing. "Fast" is return to strong KC sounding numbers, a fast-paced piece bordering on progressive hard rock. I appreciate the sound of drums that are pretty audible in the mix. "Troppo" borrows from Bruford beats and is the most melodic track, one that should belong in the best of Cross compilation. Present are dark intermezzos by Fripp. It was this track and the next atmospheric "Here" which made me buy this album. Perfect ideas, well executed and they sound like list KC classics.

Not a masterpiece per se but better than most other Cross albums.

 David Cross & Peter Banks - Crossover by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.33 | 24 ratings

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David Cross & Peter Banks - Crossover
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars Although Peter Banks sadly died in 2013, this new studio album features some of his work which has never been released until now. On 10th August 2010 he and David Cross got together for an afternoon of improvisation and all guitar and violin parts are from that time. Banks had expressed his desire for this music to one day be made available, so over the last few years Cross asked some friends to become involved and help in making this album a reality. Included here are some musicians who had worked with Peter during his lengthy musical career, as well as other notable names, Pat Mastelotto, Tony Kaye, Billy Sherwood, Randy Raine-Reusch, Andy Jackson, Oliver Wakeman, Jay Schellen, Jeremy Stacey and Geoff Downes. David Cross says 'The response from the guest musicians was truly wonderful in the way that they gave their time and talent to this project and I would like to thank them on behalf of Pete and myself. They were asked to 'interpret the music as freely and creatively as you wish' and they have turned in incredibly skilled and inspiring performances which were not easy given the improvised nature of the starting material and the spontaneity of the structures.'

Due to the nature of the album, in being that it was improvised to begin with, and then other musicians have added other parts later, it is somewhat surprising in that it feels as cohesive as it does. Although it does have that improvised feel, it doesn't sound as if it was recorded by musicians who weren't at least in the same room as each other, even if they had no idea where the music was going to take them. However, apart from Cross and Banks everyone else did have the luxury of playing the music multiple times to work out where they could fit in their parts, and I expect some judicious editing has also taken place. That being said it is an enjoyable album, with plenty of light, with fluidity from both Banks and Cross, exactly as one would expect. One gets the impression this has been a labour of love for Cross to get this finished to a standard where he felt happy releasing this to the public. It is worthy of investigation for progheads who enjoy their music to be somewhat relaxing yet always moving in new directions. I'll leave the final words to David, ''When I recall the original recording session with Pete I remember his fresh almost na've approach, his positive energy and his constant and restless search for something new. It was a joy to know Pete Banks and an honour and a privilege to play with him: I think he would be pleased with the way our album turned out.'

 David Cross & Andrew Booker: Ends Meeting by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.17 | 4 ratings

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David Cross & Andrew Booker: Ends Meeting
David Cross Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars This is actually an unreleased album from 2006 which has just been made available, after David and Andrew had met when the David Cross Band were touring with Peter Banks's Harmony & Diversity, and Andrew was drummer for the latter. David and Andrew arranged to meet one evening in October 2006 and recorded the improvisations which have now finally been released on David's own Noisy Records imprint. I first came across Andrew prior to his time with Banks, when he was in the duo Pulse Engine, although these days he is probably best known for his work with Sanguine Hum. But I have always been impressed with his approach to electronic drums and the way they can be so much more than "just" percussion, and somehow he manages to capture both a tribal and a modern feeling to this session. David surely needs no introduction and will always be thought of fondly by many for his time with King Crimson, but he is much more than just a sideman for Fripp, as his work with Dialeto among others will attest to.

Here we have two guys who know there are no limits to what they are doing, apart from time itself, so just continued to bounce ideas off each other and we are lucky now to be able to hear the results. It is avant garde, it is exciting, it is demanding, it is enthralling, and always interesting. Some of the sounds David produces sounds more like an electric guitar than violin, and it is strident and direct. Worthy of further investigation.

 Cross & Jackson: Another Day by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.51 | 35 ratings

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

Review by The Jester

3 stars Review # 91. 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 and 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 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...

My rating would be 3 stars

 Low Flying Aircraft: Low Flying Aircraft by CROSS, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.67 | 24 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
3.51 | 35 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 | 61 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
3.27 | 36 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 | 62 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 | 62 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.

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

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