DAVID CROSS (23 April 1949)
In the immediate aftermath of his departure from King Crimson, David Cross spent time travelling and guested on Clearlight’s 1975 album, Forever Blowing Bubbles. While working in theatre and pursuing higher education studies, Cross recorded with the electronica-orientated group, Radius while also releasing a series of solo albums in the late 1980s and 1990s. Having gained an MA in the performing arts at Middlesex University in 1993, he went on to teach at a senior level at London Metropolitan University.
His reputation as a solo artist gained momentum following the release of 2005's Closer Than Skin, which included lyrics contributions from Richard Palmer-James, and of which Robert Fripp said: “It continues a line of the work we did together in 1973 that no-one else has quite followed.”
In 2006, he released Unbounded, an impressive album of contemporary classical-sounding improvisations with pianist Naomi Maki, and, in 2009, English Sun, a more pastoral, gentle semi-improvised set with composer Andrew Keeling.
Speaking to Prog magazine in 2022 on the occasion of the release of the duo’s second album, October Is Marigold, he described how they came to work together and the importance of finding a connection in the playing: “As soon as we (Cross and Keeling) got together there was a kind of magic there that came straight away. Somehow there was this shared vocabulary, it was instant. Every corner I turned, he was there and vice versa. There was a real understanding of what the other person was up to which is really quite rare. I thought we did very well in the version of King Crimson I was in when it came to understanding each other’s improvised foibles. After Crimson I discovered how hard it is to find people that have the same insight and understanding and do share a similar kind of vision. Being able to anticipate where you are going to go next or just understand, from a tiny gesture where you’re heading and having that affinity with someone is great, and for me, it was very striking that we seemed able to do that.”
The David Cross Band released Sign Of The Crow, (2016) again with lyrics by Richard Palmer-James. Other notable releases include Another Day (2018) with ex- VdGG sax player David Jackson, and Crossover (2020) in which Cross reworked sessions previously recorded with the late ex-Yes guitarist, Peter Banks.
Perhaps more than any ex-Crim, David Cross has actively embraced his Crimson heritage in the years after his time in KC. In 2015, uniting two separate eras of the Crimson continuum Cross guested with Stick Men which featured Pat Mastelotto, Tony Levin and Markus Reuter for a series of concerts in Japan subsequently released as Midori by Moonjune Records in 2016. A further live triple set, Panamerica documenting the quartet’s South American tour in 2019 is their most recent release.
In 2015 he also released Starless Starlight. Co-credited to Cross and Fripp, it featured Cross’ variations on the Starless theme and his improvisations against soundscapes provided by Robert Fripp. In 2023 Cross announced his band would be performing the whole of the Larks’ Tongues In Aspic to celebrate the album’s 50th anniversary.
David Cross with King Crimson
Larks’ Tongues In Aspic
Starless And Bible Black