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David Cross - The Big Picture CD (album) cover


David Cross

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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4 stars David CROSS is perhaps most known as a former violin player with KING CRIMSON. He recorded five albums together with them 1972-1974. This is a re-release of his solo album "The Big Picture", originally released in 1992, and a new, previously unreleased track, "Nurse Alone". The music is reminiscent to his former band-mates KING CRIMSON as well as PINK FLOYD and John WETTON, with David's violin in the spotlights. The highlights are the opening "Nurse Insane", "Christine", the instrumental "Minaret", "Black Ice", the instrumental "Sundays", the complex "Grinfixer", "Holly and Barbed Wire" and the closing instrumental "Nurse Alone". This album is equal to "Exiles" (1997) but in a different way. "Exiles" is interesting because of the many great guest performances by Robert FRIPP, Peter HAMMILL and John WETTON. "The Big Picture" because it is more like a band effort. Both albums have excellent song writing.

Report this review (#28614)
Posted Thursday, March 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
4 stars David Cross played violin on the albums "Red" en "USA" from King Crimson and he's also to be seen on the DVD "Beatclub 1973" during the track "Larks tongues in aspic", along with a very young Bill Bruford. On this album David not only showcases his skills on the violon but he is a very good composer too, all compositions sound strong and dynamic featuring spectacular play on the acoustic - and electric violin. There is often an ominous climate with some fiery and heavy eruptions, in the vein of .. indeed, the album "Red" (like the songs "Inc", "Black ice" and "Grinfixer"). The vocals are OK with a slight similarity to Roger Waters (cynical undertone) and John Wetton (powerful and melancholic). The keyboards sound modern and tasteful but in the background because the stage is for David Cross, he impresses me very much on this great album!
Report this review (#39451)
Posted Thursday, July 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Big Picture was my first encounter with post-King Crimson David Cross. Disappointed with so-called "progressive rock" of that time, I purchased this album wondering if there was any future for the style, and if members of the old guard like David Cross still had anything valuable to offer. The answer was a clear yes. The Big Picture may officially be a David Cross solo album, but actually it is the work of a group. And that is what sets it apart from its predecessor; it seems Cross realised his skills are limited and that cooperation with others would bring him further. A wise decision, and Cross clearly chose the right people. Sheila Maloney and Dan Maurer, who also played on Memos From Purgatory, are still with him here, but new is singer John Dillon. Yes, unlike the previous album, there are vocals on this one, and Dillons voice is perfect for them. The Big Picture has energy, emotion and excellent songs. There are no bad songs here, but Nurse Insane, Christine and Sundays are highlights. I hesitate to give five stars, but The Big Picture definitely deserves four at least. Highly recommended.
Report this review (#78583)
Posted Thursday, May 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
1 stars 1,5 stars really!!

After a long passage from the music scene (at least the directly), David Cross came back with a few albums in the 90's, this one being the closest to a group effort. The group comes as a quartet (with his violin and a female keyboard player) where Dillon (the bassist) sings. As usual, one has to be very careful of early 90's "prog" albums, because the era is still unfortunately all too linked with the dreadful 80's. And indeed this album shows every weakness of that awful era, from programming drums to voice and fake midi-violins. While the booklet is nicely featuring the different works from an artist painter (some of which are quite nice) , the front cover represent an Asian child

While the bassist was obviously taken for his voice timbre that is reminiscent of Wetton, and there are few slightly red hints, we are far from the Crimsonian ambiances that Cross would've liked to emulate. Most of the songs are forgettable at best; irritable at worst; and not least the lengthy instrumental Minaret is a rather predictable with its (phony) Arabian feel. We are not far away from the full cheesy Asia fondue, filled will bad synth layers. Other tracks like barbed Wires and Black Ice hold definite and indubitable prog tendencies, but simply fail to interest this writer

More than a bad album (well it is, but not that bad, apart from a solid lack of inspiration), this album suffers from the enormous clichés of the era it was recorded in. In a couple of years would come the Scandinavian wave that would really instill a new life in prog, something so much lacking (as well as a solid dose from aesthetics) in this album.

Report this review (#120486)
Posted Wednesday, May 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The late-80's and early-90's found David Cross in a working orgasm, constantly releasing albums with Radius.However he never abandoned his solo project and in February 92' he recorded his second album ''The big picture'' with his backing group, which now included bassist John Dillon instead of Simon Murrell.Dillon is also responsible for the lead vocals of the album, which was released the same year again on Red Hot Records.

While not drastically different from the debut, Cross' second offering sounds a bit more tight and consistent.Dillon and his fascinating voice has much to do with the fact.The music is again quite diverse, including the strong KING CRIMSON vibes, the furious Fusion parts, while there are also lots of more pompous moments with an orchestral approach to be met.Dillon's voice, Cross' crying violins and Maloney's atmospheric keyboards are the main elements of these passages, which sound very grandiose.The KING CRIMSON-influence and instant Fusion material in ''The big picture'' are propably the more challenging cuts of the album.Abstract breaks, flashy synth solos, frenetic violin runs and a complex rhythm section offer charming, intricate and moving pieces of music, which however suffer again from some cheap 80's production quality.The general atmosphere of the album tends to be dark and even melancholic, still a couple of more synth-based tracks with uninteresting grooves spoil the decent effort.

A step forward for David Cross & co., as the addition of Dillon seems to have brought some fresh air and inspiration to the group.Recommended for all fans of intense and emotional soundscapes.

Report this review (#957466)
Posted Saturday, May 11, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Delightfully insane, eruptive violins are a hallmarks of Cross' solo albums. The former member from King Crimson tends to unleash surprising and very satisfying runs that are truly "one of a kind". Not sure about how he ended up in Jazz-Rock/Fusion as he rarely sounds anything jazzy, more like Eclectic with a very slight touch of Avant Rock.

Indeed, it is a rocking album with pretty good tunes well performed by all. The vocals are not so great, though. Echoes of Roger Waters, Greg Lake in an uninspired moment spring to mind, but there are some better bits on the side. But the highlight is firmly on those unique violin runs.

Suffice to say that Cross' works in general align well with the 1973-75 period of KC. Almost like a continuation of "Lark's Tongues In Aspic" - if only a bit wilder still. Highly recommended.

Report this review (#1145756)
Posted Monday, March 10, 2014 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars Kings Cross

Going deeper into David Cross' discography, I've reached his second solo alum - The Big Picture. Compared to the follow- up Testing To Destruction from 1994, this 1992 album is clearly more consistent and coherent. It lacks the tedious improvisational numbers of Testing To Destruction, but it also lacks the standout tracks of that album. I was previously familiar with a live version of one of the album's tracks, namely the opener Nurse Insane which featured on the excellent live record Alive In The Underworld.

The sound and production values of The Big Picture are those of its time, namely the early 90's. Especially the drums sound somewhat dated, but it is not a big problem for me. The material here is generally of a good standard, and it is a rather enjoyable album from the ex-King Crimson violinist. It does not sound like King Crimson, but nonetheless might appeal to some fans of that band.

Report this review (#1390855)
Posted Tuesday, March 31, 2015 | Review Permalink

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