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Is it just me or was David Cross not that good?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Matt Till, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    The violinist from King Crimson not the comedian. :smug:


    He never struck me as that great on the albums, and live, well I think he kinda sucked, in everything live I've heard from him with King Crimson, he was always abrasive sounding, and not in the good way.

    I just always thought he was the weakest link of the greatest (IMO) King Crimson lineup, displayed in this video.
  2. In my opinion, he was getting overpowered by the rest of the band in that era...Whether through 'volume intimidation', or personal issues I cannot say.

    And, unlike, say, Allen Sloan with the Dixie Dregs, Ponty (as a sideman), or Jerry Goodman with Mahavishnu Orchestra, he was not thought of by KC as being an integral component around which musical allowances were going to be made.

    He himself had some thoughts on the matter.

    Personally, I thought him an adequate instrumentalist...But perhaps not up to the task of channeling the 'invocations' of KC.
  3. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    His technique to me always seemed sloppy. I mean, I have horrid technique to some, but that's actually a choice I've made... but bass is a bit more forgiving. But take away the frets and give me a bow, and I'd have to make technique a big issue.

    I love violin in a prog (heavy) setting, I just feel at times his playing seemed junky.
  4. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Agreed, he was always a weak point - he was a frail guy to begin with, then he was being overpowered by Wetton and Fripp. However, he does shine pretty well on their softer moments, like Trio and Starless.

    He's got some rockin' hair, though.
  5. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    OooooOoh dreeaaam weaver, I believe you can get me through the niiiiiiigggghhhhhht.
  6. Yeah, but I bet he got laid every night.............he's a looker

    Seriously , I think he's alright, there are better, but he's alright. On the Great Deceiver box set, his solo on Night Watch is unfriggin belieaveable!
  7. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    When I saw them, he was OK - but I was paying a lot more attention to to the other 3 guys. There were some cool moments where both he a Fripp were playing mellotrons at the same time (they had a black one & a white one) - THAT was pretty hellish. ;) In a good way.
  8. I remember reading an interview with Fripp in International Musician back in the '70's in which he implied that Cross, at that time, might have been too sensitive for the outrages of the road in that era, while being complementary of his instrumental abilities.

    As far as his technique goes, my perception was that he was not there to whip out Paganini-influenced cadenzas ad nauseum, but to provide a certain atmospheric timbre with violin and mellotron as part of a greater context of meaning which Fripp was, in his mind, unsuccessful in creating...which led to his first 'sabbatical'.

    Cross fits quite well within the context of such works as The Great Deceiver, but I'm not surprised that the mass audience at the time did not 'get' such works...After all, such luminaries as Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods were so redolent with deep meaning that they probably missed the significance, being spoiled for choice and all.

  9. Wouldn't have it any other way. Cross' playing suited the need of the band perfectly, and to consider him a weaker musical link than Jamie Muir is an insult.:bag:

    I have no quarrel with Mr Muir myself, but much of his impact was on a visual level and I don't feel the recordings without him suffered in any way.
  10. How dare you scorn the caped-clad musical saw mastery that is Muir, sir


    +1...Talent is not always mutually complementary.
  11. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger

    Sep 22, 2005
    I love what Muir and Cross did to Larks' Tongues, they are a major reason why I love that album so much.
  12. Till,

    Check out my boy Joe Deninzon on 7 string violin:


    Yeah, he's THAT good.... :)

  13. Techmonkey


    Sep 4, 2004
    Wales, UK
    :eek: Why didn't I think of that! A violin with frets... That's amazing!

    That's one kick-ass band... Makes me wish I hadn't given up playing violin...

    Might take it up again one day actually. Very fun to play, but an absolote bugger to practice - very painful, and I always pissed off everyone in the house. I found it much harder than bass, guitar, drums or piano.

    I had an idea a couple of weeks ago of having a violinist in our ska band, but instead we've got a couple of guys who can play accordian and harmonica, which is good enough ;)
  14. Then how about a cello, viola, and bass with frets?:


  15. 7flat5


    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Uummm, back to the matter at hand... KC, and especially this iteration, has been about collective music-forging and music-performing. It has been pretty much determined that, in the end, Cross was overpowered by the rest of the band, and especially the ever-louder bass player. But, especially early on in the Muir days when the essence of this band was in formation, every one of them brought an essential part to the music, and wouldn't have happened without all of them. The quiet parts involving Cross, and as has been noted, mellotron duet stuff, is some of the best this band offered us. I do find some of his playing to be a little grating, but that's true of Fripp too (though perhaps not of Bruford). Weak link or not, without him the band would have been completely different.
  16. Muir has one cool mustache! I wanna grow one like it.....If only I could find a decent pic...
  17. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    His moustache is featured in the vid I posted. My printmaking teacher looks A LOT like Muir, it's creepy.
  18. i wouldn't say he's bad, considering what kind of noises that KC was making at that point with fripp, it sounds exactly what Fripp would have written for him...
    granted he still might have been the weakest link considering who he was playing with...bill bruford, john wetton, and Robert Fripp...those guys are all giants imo, so cross might not have had the chance to step out in the spotlight...
  19. I never gave much thought to him either way. I will say that I showed that same video to some friends years ago and my classical violinist friend had to cover her mouth from laughing too hard whenever the camera cut to Cross (the rest of us were laughing at Muir).
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    Primary TB Assistant

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