David Cross & David Jackson – Another Day

David-Jackson-Cross-Another-Day-Album-Art

Released via Cherry Red Records on March 16, Another Day is the joint venture of King Crimson alum and pioneer in the field of electric rock violin, David Cross and erstwhile Van der Graaf Generator saxophonist David Jackson.

The bulk of material proffered here is in a quartet format, certain to lend itself to showcasing some most pleasing live improvisation which is already making the rounds on YouTube. According to Cross, Another Day is substantially different from any other studio forays with which he’s been involved. Jackson concurs and states unequivocally that the album is one of the best of his career. Jackson’s son, Jake produced/engineered the effort.
The compositions are groundbreaking, chock full of incredible twists, weaving sax, violins, flute, synths and more into an intoxicating brew with a gnarly rhythm section laying down the lanes. Bassist Mick Paul ( http://www.mickpaulbassist.co.uk ) (whose influences range from Yes to Chick Corea to Zappa) joined the David Cross band in 1995 and drummer Craig Blundell ( http://www.craigblundell.com ) (most recently of Frost) are given space to roam free on the prog topography, to delightful results.

Cross’s most high-profile handiwork can be found on his tenure with the 1970s incarnation of King Crimson (Red, Lark’s Tongue In Aspic, Starless And Bible Black.) After Crimson, Cross formed a jazzy, improvisational outfit called They Came From Plymouth. During the 1980s, he led his own band with former King Crimson members John Wetton, Robert Fripp and Peter Sinfield guesting on his solo projects.

Jackson, whose style is characterized by his frequent use of double-horns–quite literally playing two saxophones simultaneously–has worked with Peter Gabriel, Keith Tippett, Osana and others.

New Music Express (NME) reviewer Jonathan Barnett once referred to Jackson as, “the Van Gogh of the saxophone–a renegade impressionist, dispensing distorted visions of the world outside [from] his private asylum window.” Most noteworthy though is Jackson’s work with physically and mentally disabled people, enabling them to create music via the use of a technology known as Soundbeam https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soundbeam

He is also a Soundbeam trainer, system designer and builder. A documentary about his work with autistic children was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1998.

“The Last Ride” is a throttling, chaotic mid-tempo number invoking Middle Eastern-tinged riffing punctuated by Craig Blundell’s appetizing drum work. The moody “Going Nowhere” is the most straightforward tune on the album–or as straightforward an arrangement as you could expect from this outfit and the track most likely to receive airplay in a more commercial format. The back third of Another Day features some welcome down-tempo departures. “Arrival”, colored by Mick Paul’s lush fretless bass tone, really breaks up the calamity. Likewise for mellow interludes “Mr. Morose”, and “Anthem For Another Day”, which are accentuated by Jackson’s tasteful sax work. Really nice stuff here.

By any metric, Another Day is destined to become a progressive classic.

-Scott Dough

 

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