Title - 'Crossing The Tracks'
Artist - David Cross
For those not in the immediate know, David Cross is an English electric violinist, best known for playing with progressive rock band King Crimson during the 1970s (particularly on Larks' Tongues in Aspic and Starless and Bible Black).
After King Crimson, Cross formed a jazzy improvising band called They Came from Plymouth. With Keith Tippett (piano), Dan Maurer (drums) and Jim Juhn (guitar, bass, percussion), he then formed a short-lived project in 1987 called Low Flying Aircraft.
In 1998, he was invited by Geoff Serle to join Radius. Besides Cross and Serle (keyboards, electronics, samples), Radius included Sheila Malony (on keyboards), Maxine Braham and Carlo Lucius Asciutti (vocals).
Since the mid-1980s, he has also led his own band, the earlier incarnations of which featured American drummer Dan Maurer, English keyboard player Sheila Maloney and the Liverpool bassist/vocalist John Dillon.
Former and current King Crimson members John Wetton, Robert Fripp, and Peter Sinfield, as well as guest lyricist Richard Palmer-James, have all guested on his solo projects.
Just released this past June 22nd, 2018 via Purple Pyramid Records, the former King Crimson violinist has now brought forth his collaborative new album, Crossing The Tracks. Featuring 12 vocal and instrumental tracks, it is, for my money, one of his finest solo musical works to date.
1. 'White Bird' (w/Sonja Kraushofer)
2. 'Kalahari Fantasy'
3. 'For What It's Worth' (w/Anne-Marie Hurst)
4. 'Prince Of Darkness'
5. 'Love Me' (w/Ofra Haza)
6. 'Into The Oblique'
7. 'The Light Inside Me' (w/Kimberly Freeman)
8. 'Shifting Sands'
9. 'Hero Of Kingdom' (w/Marion Küchenmeister)
11. 'The Key' (w/Ofra Haza)
12. 'Shadows Do Know' (w/Eva O)
“Crossing The Tracks is an exciting new departure for me," Cross has since admitted. "Cleopatra Records and producer Jurgen Engler presented me with 12 tracks and gave me free reign to play on all of them, hence 'crossing the tracks.'"
“This was an unusual situation for me as I am generally composer, performer and producer – albeit in collaboration with other band members, and I wasn't sure how I would fare as a 'session' player."
“However the lure of artistic freedom and a new musical challenge was too strong to resist.”
As for the tracks themselves, this stellar, meaningful, deeply creative album opens with the Celtic-inspired 'White Bird' (featuring Sonja Kraushofer, the remarkable voice of L'Âme Immortelle) and backs that up deliciously with both the Eastern-flavored 'Kalahari Fantasy,' and the massive cover of Buffalo Springfield' hit, 'For What It's Worth.'
Featuring Anne-Marie Hurst, lead vocalist for groups such as the Elements, Skeletal Family and Ghost Dance, it is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the genuine highlights of this album.
The sternly stoic 'Prince of Darkness' is next and that's followed by a return to the eastern provinces in 'Love Me' (featuring Israeli singer, actress and Grammy Award-nominee recording artist, Ofra Haza). The theme continues onward in a more haunting manner with 'Into The Oblique,' which is followed by the soulful vibe of 'The Light Inside Me' (featuring Kimberly Freeman, the singer and Guitarist of One-Eyed Doll).
The atmospheric 'Shifting Sands' is then backed by a sternly vocalized and orchestrated 'Hero Of Kingdom' (featuring Marion Küchenmeister, the German singer and songwriter and voice of Invisible Limits and Modern Slaves).
An inspiring rendition of 'Hallelujah' is then brought forth, with the album rounding out with both the escapism of 'The Key' (once again, with Ofra Haza), and then the crestfallen, rawness of 'Shadows Do Know' (featuring Eva O, best known for her previous works in Christian Death, and a band she formed with her then-husband Rozz Williams, Shadow Project.
Official Digital Purchase Link