Christopher Cross, because he had so much success in such a small window of time in the early 1980s, has a caught-in-time sound — one that remains, even on this expansive live document, redolent of a specific moment.
Sure, he’s put out plenty of music since those Grammy-winning, Arthur-scoring days, not least of which is 2011′s surprisingly cranky Doctor Faith — which sparked this tour. But Cross’ best loved, best remembered work will always take you back to the first Reagan administration, and a vinyl copy of his debut album with this memorable flamingo motif that carries forward right to A Night in Paris, issued today by earMusic and Eagle Records.
Recorded in April of last year at Paris’ Theatre le Trianon, the 2CD/DVD package finds Cross not only returning to his best earlier work but doing so with a more muscular rock-focused group that’s far removed from the more recent acoustic, jazz-inflected outfits he’s favored lately.
Together, the offer newer fare from Doctor Faith, including “Leave It To Me,” “Everything” “When You Come Home,” “Dreamers,” and “November.” Cross also goes back to the title track from 1998′s Walking in Avalon, but all of that can’t help but serve as a preamble.
This 90-minute show, as expected, would be framed not just by his updated takes on “Arthur’s Theme,” “All Right,” “Never Be the Same” and “Sailing” but also on period deep cuts like “Minstrel Gigolo” or “I Really Don’t Know Anymore” from 1980′s Christopher Cross and “No Time for Talk” from the 1983 follow up Another Page. Taken of a piece, they remain endlessly approachable, sweetly romantic and — right down to Cross’ improbably molten guitar solo to close “Ride Like the Wind” — forever transportive.