David Cross & Peter Banks - Crossover

by Kevin Wierzbicki

This album by King Crimson alum Cross and Banks, the late founding member of Yes (and the man who gave that group its name) came to fruition in an unusual way. The duo went into the studio in 2010 to fulfill a longstanding desire to record with one another, and having no songs written for the occasion, put their considerable improvisational talents to work. The music then got put on the back burner until 2018 when Cross thought it would be a nice tribute to Banks, who died in 2013, to finish the record. So Cross, violinist on the project, rounded up producer Tony Lowe and a bunch of guest players like Billy Sherwood, Pat Mastelotto, Tony Kaye, Geoff Downes and Oliver Wakeman to add their touches to what he and guitarist Banks had already recorded. The effort, all instrumental, begins with the sublime "Rock to a Hard Place," a cut featuring keyboard work from Downes and completely devoid of any rough edges that might be intimated at by its title. "Upshift" is a bit outre at its beginning as it mimics something, perhaps a space ship, kicking into high gear, before blossoming into a quiet, jazzy groove where Cross and Banks are augmented by Kaye on Hammond organ, Wakeman on additional keys, Jay Shellen on drums and Sherwood on bass. Two cuts feature only the artistry of Cross and Banks; the haunting "Missing Time" and "Crossover," similarly spectral in nature and a perfect example of how the pair really clicked with their improvisation. Ten cuts in all, Crossover will warm the hearts of prog fans in general, and especially those who are fond of King Crimson.

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