Album review: DAVID CROSS & PETER BANKS – Crossover


Noisy Records [Release date 17.01.20]

David Cross will be best known for his time with King Crimson in the 1970s. His more recent solo works and collaborations (with the likes of one-time Van Der Graaf sax player David Jackson and Andrew Booker) have sometimes provided esoteric and less accessible soundscapes. ‘Crossover’ will be of immediate interest as containing the last new album of material from original Yes guitarist Peter Banks.

Banks and Cross collaborated at the latter’s studio in 2010, three years before Banks’ death. It was a session of improvisation rather than strict song structure. However, these recordings – now rescued and restored – have been enhanced with additional (and sympathetic) contributions from a range of prog rock musicians. These include Geoff Downes and Billy Sherwood (Yes).

Banks’ own guitar interjections mainly provide sonic colouring and it is left to Cross (and guests) to fill in the gaps. This is evident on the fusion piece (and standout) ‘Upshift’ which is keyboard-led (Tony Kaye/Oliver Wakeman).

The Mahavishnu Orchestra-esque ‘The Work Within’ and ‘Missing Time’ are contemplative excursions for Cross’ violin against Banks’ volume swells and arpeggios. The stark poignancy of these pieces is continued in ‘Plasma Drive’ which is enhanced with Billy Sherwood’s strident bass lines and Wakeman’s moog figures.

Peter Banks was an innovative, idiosyncratic player perhaps best discovered on the posthumous ‘Anthology’ or via ‘The Self-Contained Trilogy’ (both 2018) .

‘Crossover’ , though, can be enjoyed in its own right as an evocative piece of ambient fusion. Nice cover, too.  ***1/2

Review by David Randall

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In his show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on Sunday 29 March David Randall featured a selection of tracks from “Albums of the Month” (January-March 2020) (29:45)

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Featured Albums w/c 30 March (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HARTMANN 15 Pearls And Gems (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 H.E.A.T. II (earMUSIC)
14:00-16:00 GRAHAM GOULDMAN Modesty Forbids (Lojinx)

Power Plays w/c 30 March (Mon-Fri)

LOUISE LEMON Devil (Icons Creating Evil Art )
BLACK ORCHID EMPIRE Winter Keeps Us Warm (indie)
ONE DESIRE Shadowman (Frontiers)
CRYSTAL IGNITE Black Mamba (indie)
PICTURESQUE ATTN: (Rude Records/Equal Vision Records)
SKARLETT RIOT Human (indie)

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