As a guitarist/singer/songwriter/arranger, Dave Cross combines touches of both jazz and blues. In addition to his formidable guitar chops and easy, languid vocals, Dave has a talent for surrounding himself with top-notch musicians. The selections on Songbook all showcase the rich musical interplay between Cross and his backing band, which includes keyboards, a horn section and Dave’s wife Sue on bass.
Tracks like “Everyone Knows” and “Broke on Payday” reveal Cross’s talent for performing up-tempo blues shuffles, where Cross punctuates his tongue-in-cheek lyrics with twisting, intricate guitar lines. On ballads like “I Promise” and “Gently,” Cross shows his skills as an accompanist— he strums delicate, atmospheric chords behind jazz horn solos and guest vocalist Gail Chasin. One of the most impressive tracks on Songbook is the New Orleans-flavored “Church of Charles.” While Cross’s lyrics pay tribute to Mingus, Monk and Armstrong, the horn players jam over a funky rhythm section that’s buffed up by guest percussionist Papo Rodriguez.
Dave and Sue Cross are based in Southern California, and their music displays a strong West Coast sensibility. The low-key style they bring to jazz and blues makes Songbook a worthwhile listen for roots music fans.
—Jon Kleinman ELMORE MAGAZINE.
Do you like jazz? Do you love to dance? Does a wailing sax solo energize you? Buy Back to Broke. This is a CD of fun, spirited music that really makes me look forward to hearing more. Cool, funky, New Orleans club-style jazz that’s got the blues. Back to Broke gets back to the basics: good, creative songwriting. The lyrics are thoughtful, inspired, and full of funny zingers. Dave Cross’ and Gail Chasin’s voices complement each other perfectly. His is casual and conversational (sounding a bit like Randy Newman); hers is powerful and emotional with a tinge of gospel.
The music is a party. From the playful swing of “Wiggle Walk” to the big band feel of the title track, to the foot-stomping “Shuffle,” the musicians on this CD are playing at full throttle and having a great time. The music gets into your blood. “Quiet Surprises” is a pleasant surprise – a soft, romantic break from the upbeat jazz club numbers. The piano notes sound like rapidly falling raindrops at times. The saxophone sounds longing and reflective. Beautiful. This one had me under its spell for a long time.
This is a CD of fun, spirited music that really makes me look forward to hearing more from them. In the meantime, Dave Cross continues to perform at clubs and coffeehouses in and around Orange County, CA, so if you’re in that area, check him out.
-Jennifer Layton, Indie-Music.com.
Smooth blues with a Jazz Groove–these gifted musicians have taken from the old and added a 90’s feel. A euphonious Gumbo steaming with the talents of Dave and Sue Cross, with several rhythmic approaches that makes for an intriguing listening experience. A superb performance. . .masterful. . .a unique approach.
-Greg Serrato, The Blues News.
Dave Cross and Crossection play a sound found at the better clubs in town, where music is appreciated for its quality. For sure if you land in a classy New Orleans club you can expect music like the kind Dave Cross pitches . . . mature music, solid and smooth construction and execution; the vocals glide along with understated nonchalance, the horns lend a nice smoky sultriness.
A study in cool, laid-back blues with an energy derived from great musicians playing great music: they have the firepower of full instrumental backing as the songs roll along. Every one of these players is most likely in this band for the love of music, and they perform like musicians enjoying themselves. Be sure to check out Dave Cross and Crossection–just ask someone where the best club in town is.
-Martin Fullington, Music Reviews Quarterly, Arden, North Carolina.
Jazzy bop blues with a sometimes Caribbean, sometimes Cajun flavor, Dave Cross and Crossection carry a big band beat that sauces ya right back into a fifties cabana club scene. Powerful and prolific sounds, tasty and tantalizing. The horn section solos are very well arranged and individually awesome– this platter deserves wide recognition!
-Mark A. Cole, Van Go Productions, Genoa Ohio.
Dave Cross and his band Crossection are that rare animal, a blues band that has approached the blues from the jazz side of things. Cross brings out the blues side of jazz covers like Sonny Rollins’ “St.Thomas,” and his jazz sensibilities give a different view of the blues. Cross’ band sounds ready to handle any task; his CDs have received airplay on over 200 stations nationwide. Not enough can be said about the songwriting talents of this band, perhaps its biggest asset. This is a band to watch out for!
-Jon Pepper, Southland Blues.