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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

David Cross and David Jackson

Another Day

Review by Gary Hill

Before I gave this disc a spin, I was expecting something very different than what it turned out to be. For some reason I thought this would be particularly mellow and restful music. Well, it is not. Instead, this is powerful instrumental jazz prog that is quite varied from number to number (and sometimes within a song). It has elements of King Crimson, but there is a lot more going on here, too. There is a really good chance that this disc will make my "best of 2018" list. David Cross is probably best known for his work with King Crimson, but he has done a lot more over the years. David Jackson was part of Van der Graaf Generator. Their sound is augmented by Mick Paul (bass) and Craig Blundell (drums).

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Predator

Some noisy guitar leads this off, and they work forward in a killer jam that's part hard rocking modern prog and part old school King Crimson. This is off-kilter and shifts around like crazy. There are sections that are heavily based on world music. There is a lot of jazz in the mix here. This is strange, but also strangely compelling.

Bushido
This is much mellower and has a lot of world music in the mix. It's no less compelling or strange, though.
Last Ride
Coming in rather symphonic, this works out from there to a jam that's more in line with King Crimson. The cut gets into some powerful jazz meets classical territory as it marches forward. This is so potent. It's dynamic and works through a lot of varied sonic scenery as it continues. It's a highlight of the set. Given the quality of material here, that says a lot.
Going Nowhere
Jazz elements lead this one out of the gate. In a lot of ways this more pure jazz than some of the rest here are. It's no less interesting and potent, though. I like this one a lot. It has some great passages and really manages to groove. The bit of violin soloing at the end does a nice job of grounding the piece.
Trane to Kiev
The horn at the start of this does sound like a train, and the percussion that comes afterward adds to that effect. I know that it's spelled "Trane" to allude to John Coltrane, but I'm betting those little bits were also meant to link to "train." The cut builds outward in a rather freeform and experimental way. It's part classical and part jazz. There is a detuned element to some of it that adds a bit of oddity. The cut eventually grows outward to more rocking stuff but retains the eccentric nature. After the two minute mark there is a drop back and it works forward gradually from there.
Millennium Toll
Coming in with a powerful musical arrangement, this drops back to something more sedate and classical in structure. After the two minute mark it screams upward with a rock meets jazz jam that is just so tasty. They work it through some changes as it goes along. This is a powerful and particularly effective piece of music.
Arrival
Coming in a bit ambient and mysterious, it's also a little on the creepy side. It eventually works out to sort of a psychedelic jazz jam, but it still remains rather freeform and sparse. Various instruments get the chance to shine in different places here.
Come Again
More of a rocker, this has a lot of killer jamming built into it. It's another that definitely makes me think of King Crimson a bit. There is a lot of real jazz in the mix, too, though. There are some killer shifts and turns along this road. There are some amazing bits of soloing built into this powerhouse number. This is another standout for me. It gets so intense as it drives onward late in the song.
Breaking Bad
King Crimson meets funk on the introduction to this. The cut starts to gain more of a jazz meets rock element as it works forward, but the funky bass work really continues to shine. As the piece gets more crazed and works through various sections, that bass continues to stand out in some great ways. This is intense and smoking hot. It gets pretty chaotic further down the road.
Mr. Morose
Coming in mellower and slower, more of a pure jazz treatment is on the plate at the start of this cut. The piece has some intriguing shifts and twists and is another effective rock meets jazz number.
Anthem for Another Day
A bit mellower and more cohesive, in some ways this is the most mainstream thing here. There are healthy helpings of both jazz and classical sound built within this. Yet there is also a driving rock energy and intensity at the heart of a lot of it. This gets so powerful as it works toward its closing.
Time Gentlemen Please
Coming in so weird and trippy, this introduction is odd, but intriguing.  It drops to a rhythm section exploration with horn over the top. That never really goes anywhere, though, as the piece ends abruptly at the minute and 16 second mark.
 
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