Thought this through some more…
1. I think starting with that free piano + sax going up the octaves could be a good way to introduce the album, then stop and go to silence/room sound for a moment before starting back up with the simple 3/4 arrangement from late January, which I liked.
2. Cutting out Verse 2 is a bad idea. I’m trying to shorten the song, but lyrically everything there is needed or else it loses emotion.
3. The whole song should not be free time. That’s just kind of a mess and makes it lose the suspense that the 3/4 (and other versions) had.
4. Introducing the record with free first before establishing rhythm could be really cool though. It should give breathing room for the atmosphere/room sounds to come through so that the entire thing isn’t just a wall of sound (my problem, as “wall of sound” is my comfort zone).