CD/DVD Review: Christopher Cross - A Night In Paris

The veteran singer delivers new live album...
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As debut albums go, the self-titled release from Christopher Cross was as about as successful as anyone could have hoped for. Released in late 1979, it sold over 5 million copies in the United States alone (20 million worldwide) and garnered the singer five Grammy Awards in 1981. His second album, Another Page, was a success as well, going gold in the U.S. and spawning another top-10 hit in "Think Of Laura." As the years passed, Cross' releases became more sporadic, yet still achieved critical acclaim. In 2011, he released Doctor Faith, his first album of original material in over a decade. Cross was captured live on that tour at a stop in Paris, France. The April 2012 show makes up the CD/DVD, A Night In Paris.

Not surprisingly, the show draws heavily on Cross' debut album, with eight that album's nine cuts featured in the show. The show opens, however, with a bouncy rendition of "All Right" from Another Page. Cross and his crack band, which includes Chazz Fritchel on bass; Kiki Ebsen on keyboards and Dave Beyer on drums deliver a fine performance of the track. Cross' distinct voice shows little to no effects of the passing of time.

Cross shows off some impressive guitar work on "The Light Is On," but the show is not merely an exercise in nostalgia. Five of the songs performed come from Doctor Faith, including the up-tempo "Leave It To Me" and the mellower "Everything." The new tracks fit neatly among Cross' classic material and don't seem out of place in the show.

Still Cross delivers the hits and there are many. He and the band are in fine form on the acoustic-based "Sailing," while "Never Be The Same" features an enthusiastic crowd response and some excellent sax work from Andy Suzuki. The strong pop of "Arthur's Theme" and an energetic "Ride Like The Wind" close out the main set, with Cross extending the latter with some fine guitar work. The show was filmed with nine cameras in HD before a packed house. The sound mix is excellent throughout and the crowd is into the performance.

After more than 30 years, Cross is still going strong. Doctor Faith proved he could still deliver new studio material that was worthy of his legacy while A Night In Paris cements his position as an excellent live performer.