What happens when you combine two David’s – Cross and Jackson – into one room, one from King Crimson and one from Van der Graaf Generator? It certainly makes for an interesting combination and one that, for me, works. I’ve always been a huge admirer of these bands, their music carries the mystery, the darkness, the nightmares and the sinister tones that can be intensive, chilling and right in your face. Having both Cross and Jackson together, I could only wonder what would happen and Another Day gives them free-rein – and it shows that they are more than just former members of Crimson and Van der Graaf.
Alongside Cross and Jackson, the album features bassist Mick Paul and drummer Craig Blundell, along with David Jackson’s son Jake who handles the production. Listening to Another Day, it is like a flaming flower that is ready to burst open at any second. The music is a combination of minimalism, avant-garde, surrealism, world music and free-jazz. Both Cross and Jackson share these landscapes and that gives me chills every time I listen to this album.
On Come Again I can hear them paying tribute to Aphrodite’s Child’s All The Seats Were Occupied from the 666 album. Cross adds a Middle-Eastern, Egyptian vibe on his electric violin as Jackson helps him part the Red Sea. Following this is a snarling mid-section where Cross creates loud effects, as if the Gods are ready to rain the thunder down, before Jackson and the band return with an odd time change, giving a little nod to his old band and showing that he hasn’t forgotten his roots.
Bushido is set between the Land of the Rising Sun and the Great Wall of China – with a surreal background. You can picture these amazing locations as if the music was set to an intensive motion of Kabuki theatre, with some bizarre moments. Trane To Kiev is a tribute to the worlds of jazz and classical music, Jackson’s sax an avant-free-jazz moment that is very Ligeti-sque, setting scenes of the Ukraine. And when Cross comes in they duel between each other as the levels go up a notch.
On Arrival however, they tip their hats to the late great David Bedford – with a mournful opening section as if the piece were recorded inside a beautiful Gothic cathedral late in the night – and there are some bits of electronic jazz hinting at Zeit-era of Tangerine Dream. Mick and Craig help to bring the atmospheric beats together as they keep up with the pace to see where the duo go next.
On Breaking Bad, which I can imagine is Cross and Jackson’s alternate score to one of the most ground breaking TV series, sees Mick Paul’s bass create some heavy duty work as they take a ride into the Albuquerque desert to see what will happen next for Walter White.
The duo head back into the classical-jazz form with Anthem for Another Day and ask the listener to join them on another journey, part Johann Strauss and part Tchaikovsky’s Arabian Dance from the Nutcracker Suite. It feels like, while the journey is almost completed, their adventure has only just begun, leaving us eager to see what brainstorming ideas they might have up their sleeves.
David Cross and David Jackson are electric together and Another Day, as I’ve mentioned earlier, gives them free-rein, featuring the vertigo, brilliance, forbidding, weird, atmospheric and chilling compositions they brought on their debut release together. Another Day is a mind-boggling collaboration.
01. Predator (4:56)
02. Bushido (1:21)
03. Last Ride (5:57)
04. Going Nowhere (4:50)
05. Trane To Kiev (3:18)
06. Millennium Toll (5:37)
07. Arrival (7:49)
08. Come Again (6:51)
09. Breaking Bad (4:01)
10. Mr. Morose (4:31)
11. Anthem For Another Day (5:47)
12. Time Gentlemen, Please (1:41)
Total Time – 56:20
David Jackson – Flute, Saxophones, Keyboards, Soundbeams
David Cross – Electric Violin, Keyboards
Mick Paul – Bass Guitar
Craig Blundell – Drums
Record Label: Cherry Red Records
Catalogue Number: CJMCD001
Date of Release: 16th March 2018
David Cross & David Jackson – Website | Info at Cherry Red Records
David Cross – Website | Facebook
David Jackson – Website | Facebook