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David Cross - Alive In The Underworld CD (album) cover


David Cross

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Symphonic Team
4 stars Out of exile and into the 21st century

David Cross is best known for being a member of King Crimson between 1972 and 1974. Here he is with his own band performing a mixture of tracks from his solo albums and some King Crimson classics. His most recent studio album at the time of this live recording was Closer Than Skin. That 2005 album is represented by two tracks in the set list: Are We One? and I Buy Silence. Cross' 1998 solo album Exiles was named after the King Crimson song originally appearing on 1973's Larks' Tongues In Aspic to which Cross contributed. Exiles featured a new studio recording of the song with original vocalist John Wetton guesting. The live version of the song featured here is well sung by Arch Stanton. The rest of the band consists of Paul Clark on guitar, Mick Paul on bass, Alex Hall on keyboards, Joe Crabtree on drums, and David Cross himself on electric violin.

Tonk was also taken from the Exiles album. The earlier David Cross solo albums Testing To Destruction and The Big Picture from 1994 and 1992 respectively are represented by one song each in Learning Curve and Nurse Insane. All of the songs are good and often the sound reminds me a bit of the progressive Metal band Fates Warning! Two further King Crimson classics are included, actually my two personal favourite King Crimson songs Starless - originally from 1974's Red - and 21st Century Schizoid Man, originally from the band's 1969 debut In The Court Of The Crimson King. The latter is perhaps an odd choice given that David Cross didn't join the band until several years later, but I assume that he did perform this song live with the band back in the 70's. Cross does his own thing with these classics and gives them his own touch. Often a harder edge and heavier sound is noticeable.

The final track called Floodlights is a new studio bonus track.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable live album that sits well beside other ex-King Crimson members live efforts including those by the 21st Century Schizoid Band, John Wetton, and Greg Lake - all of which in my opinion are better custodians of the band's legacy than the band that carries the name "King Crimson".

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Posted Thursday, March 19, 2015 | Review Permalink

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