Christopher Cross comes sailing into the Cafe Carlyle for four weeks, smoothly gliding through his three major hits in the adult contemporary vein. When he launches into “Sailing,” “Ride Like the Wind” and “Arthur’s Theme,” the ringside faces light up — lips silently mouthing the words of songs that are almost 30 years old — in a manner that doesn’t happen when Barbara Cook or Eartha Kitt are weaving their considerably different spells at the Carlyle.
If you are fated to have only one exceptional year, you can’t do much better than Cross did in 1980. His debut album, “Christopher Cross,” was a top seller, and when the Grammy ceremony rolled around in 1981, he won big; he remains the only person to take the “big four” (for best record, best song, best album, and best new artist) in one year.
Artist has continued to record over the years, but without the kind of success suggested by his debut album.
He tours continually, though he is more likely to be found in the environs of B.B. King’s than the Madison Avenue home of Bobby Short and Elaine Stritch. Even so, he acquits himself quite well. Sitting comfortably on a stool with guitar in hand (backed by two musicians), he goes through 13 songs in gentle, nostalgic fashion.
“I hope to bring back a few good memories for you,” Cross said as he launched into “Think of Laura” (which is not, he points out, related to the character from “General Hospital”). Notable among the lesser known titles are “Driftin Away” and, from 1998, “Walking in Avalon.” Alluding to his career trajectory, Cross admits that many of his CDs are out of print. “But thanks to Steve Jobs,” he added, “everything is on iTunes.”