This is about as close to a 'blues' as we get. Yes, it's sort of 18-bar jazz blues, not counting the bridges, and unsurprisingly, it doesn't follow a "normal" blues progression. Probably I'll make the 18 bars into 19 or 20 sometimes. It's really the blue feeling that motivates me, not the blue rules. Also, I really can't keep a count in my head very easily.
Named for Joel's spazzy dog Moxley (who totally chills out whenever we start playing music, often rolling over on her back and playing dead), this recording is a good snapshot of Twang composition at work, offering a glimpse of a pre-band arrangement. Generally, I'm the "writer" of our original material. But as we operate in a jazz & rock realm, "writing" means little more than creating a structure within which others can move musically. Put Joel and Troy into this, and it'll be quite different -- and they'll be doing their own thing.
Compositional credit is strange thing in that regard. Of late, I've been reading Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece (an excellent read, by the way). One of the issues covered briefly is a bit of controversy over whether Bill Evans deserves shared credit for some of the songs, "Flamenco Sketches" and "Blue in Green" in particular. Davis is listed as the sole composer on the album, but beyond the direct Evans issue, what does the idea that Miles Davis composed these songs mean? Naturally, Davis wasn't telling Coltrane, Adderley, Chambers, Cobb, or Evans what specifically to play; rather, he was directing the sessions and laying down ground rules for the pieces they'd record over two sessions. In other words, he was saying "it goes like this," and expecting them to get in the groove. Miles is clearly the bandleader, with Evans serving as the key musical adviser, but everyone is utilizing their own creativity to participate.
My Twang composition proceeds in a similar fashion; some songs are about particular chordal progressions (like this one), others are about progressions of modes, and sometimes there's a combination of these approaches. I'm usually offering some melodic ideas that allow the progressions to have identity as a "piece," but my directions to Joel and Troy are basically just of the "it goes like this" variety. And then the music is off the leash, I'm surprised, the band is working, and that is how Moxley rolls (click for the band's version).