I could feel the incipient funkiness, but didn't think it would be apparent to anyone else without some major additions. "Aha!", I thought. "Write a bassline." Done. Oh boy, I love that bassline! The blood and guts of it showed the charming noodly line up to be an atmosphere rather than an actual melody. (Are you listening to the youtube link yet?)
A friend pointed out to me years ago that European-based music tends to be very goal/climax-oriented, where many other musics are more meditative, with less division between performer and listener. I'm definitely in the goal-seeking category. On the other hand, I have received kudos, AND conversely, not made it past the first listening round for grants, because of my tendency to write long, meditative build-ups. Always do go for the eventual explosion, though.
So, back to the charming noodly line - a problem, as I perceived it. I wrote a melody, expressly quite suitable for the trombone, since I was planning a concert with the excellent trombonist MJ Williams. And of course foreseeing the pugnacious vibrance of the eventual arrangement for Lyric Fury (my beloved eight-piece band of masters, which I hope you're listening to as we speak). The bassline turned out to be so chunkily engaging that it was almost a forest unto itself, with a brawling howler monkey scampering around in the trees. Huh? That is - loose, rowdy, and given to space and big leaps . And so space and spice also became the nature of the melody.
Melody and bassline totally erased the desire or even the need for the initial inspirational noodle chant. Which remains forsaken and absent from "Those Basinites" to this very day. Like a former girlfriend, who intro'd you to her best friend, now your wife? No, not that fraught. But still formerly intimately entwined and seeming essential.
Lots of excursions today! So, melody is written, still in that very slow 5/4. With sixteenth notes that swing. The sort of thing even gracious and respectable jazz musicians don't really want to read. I reconsidered and wrote it in a medium tempo 6/4 + 4/4, aka 10/4 (listen and count!). Eighth notes swing, and the basic beat is about a heartbeat long, instead of a long, slow breath. Lots easier to keep track of. It turns out to be quite readable in that rendition. Over the years I've realized that writing in a very readable form is much more important for the band members, than writing in the purest form in which I conceptualize the tune. (Let me know if this sentence makes sense.)
That's the birth of "Those Basinites". You want to know about the title? Pronounced like the receptacle, basin, plus -ites. Refers to the quirky and hardcore-wonderful inhabitants of the town Basin, Montana. Like the tune, I find them unusual, full of jolting space, and surprisingly funky, in the socio-musical meaning of the word.