roving once again that it’s not just a river in Egypt, J. D. Souther’s Journey Down the Nile is my new intentional earworm.
I think it’s a samba. I’ve forgotten most of the little I ever knew about Latin rhythm, but I think it’s a samba. With little machine-gun drum fills and a bass that knows how to samba. Or whichever dance it is. Apparently the horn section was recorded live, sliding in behind the languid vocals and wrapping around the piano which, like the bass, dances to whatever Latin rhythm that is. The trumpet solo defies the subtlety of the other instruments, blaring over the top, holding one long wavering note while they all change chords underneath. It’s one of those little musical witticisms I love.
Lyrically, there’s some kind of social commentary in there, but I’ll be hanged if it’s surfaced yet. The wit overshadows the message, but Joel David doesn’t care any more than John David did.