With its driving rhythm and nocturnal saxophone, Jude Gwynaire’s “Night Drive Through My City Notorious” does sound like a nighttime ride. It’s an instrumental that simply shouts forward motion after sundown.
One immediately wonders what is meant by the description, “City Notorious.” Notoriety suggests something distinctly pejorative. A notorious city sounds like one known for corruption and crime, and any city with these characteristics is not one you’re going to want to drive through at night. Definitely not for some sort of joyride, that’s for sure. If you do, you’re just opening yourself up for the possibility of being some sort of victim or other. If that’s you, you’re probably going to want to drive extra fast, with the windows rolled up and all the doors locked. Looking straight ahead and not stopping – for anything.
Then again, maybe the driver is looking for trouble. Maybe this is a place where trouble can be looked for and easily found. If, for instance, you’re seeking to score drugs or find a lady of the night, you would almost certainly seek out such illicit pleasures in a city with a notorious reputation. You would not, say, take a spin towards a small town or a rural region for these pursuits.
The single’s artwork features a jumbled collection of citified images, with a woman wearing distinctive green-rim sunglasses. She looks like a femme fatale out of a film noir. She may be looking in the city for trouble. Heck, she might actually be the trouble!
The track begins with a smattering of snare drumming before the insistent saxophone begins its ride over the rhythm. Melodically, the tune doesn’t change all that much, as it rides swiftly for just over five minutes in length. It has the ominous feel of a drive through city streets. The melody is simple and memorable, as the track ebbs and flows its way from start to finish. It’s also ripe with anticipation. The listener just has a feeling something is about to happen. What that ‘something’ is, isn’t clear, but like the music build-up in an action movie, this is the sound of something big about to happen. Perhaps, right around the next corner.
The song that comes to mind when listening to it, maybe because it also prominently features saxophone as well, is Glenn Frey’s “You Belong to the City.” The words to that one state: ‘Cause you belong to the city/You Belong to the night/Living in a river of darkness beneath the neon light.” Similarly, listening to this music brings up images of one “Living in a river of darkness beneath the neon light.” Neon light is not natural light. Also, that river of darkness is like those darkened streets one drives along.
One can only guess the city Gwynaire is referring to, as well as what might make it so notorious. However you don’t need to know all the details. The sound of this music says it all. This sonic creates the scene, and the listener fills in all the blanks. Maybe you live near a city like this one. Why not put it on while you’re driving there, just to see if it enhances the mood during the journey?