My original compositions and arrangements use a more scale-based, linear, pan-modal style than one based primarily on chords and triadic harmonies. I tend to avoid the repeated 32-bar form of jazz standards and often do not reprise the entire theme at the end of the piece.
The writing is inspired in part by the Lydian Chromatic Concept of George Russell. I also utilize some of the cyclical rhythmic ideas from The Schillinger System of Musical Composition by Joseph Schillinger, which is a rather mathematical work, but with some useful techniques for variation, extending material, and asymmetric form.
As a woodwind instrumentalist, I like to employ a wide range of colors and spend a lot of time on orchestration and generally avoid block writing (i.e. sax section vs. brass section) in favor of more independent parts. I often treat the guitar and bass as a “string section”, often with written parts as opposed to chord symbols.
Find out more about Jim’s music on his Biography page.