All Blues uses a head arrangement, a structure often found in jazz. A head arrangement is a chord progression which is memorised by the players.

The head arrangement in All Blues is the 12-bar chord progression. Jazz players refer to chord progressions as 'changes'.

These are the elements of the 12-bar chord progression in All Blues:

  • each repetition of the 12-bar progression is known as a chorus
  • each of the soloists improvises in the choruses so it is a set of variations
  • the piece opens with an intro and ends with a coda

Each of the main sections is introduced by a 4-bar riff. A riff is a short repeated pattern.

  • 4-bar intro (rhythm section)
  • 4-bar riff (saxes and rhythm section)
  • head 1 (a 12 bar head with muted trumpet playing melody)
  • riff and head repeated
  • four 12-bar choruses for trumpet
  • four choruses for alto sax
  • four choruses for tenor sax
  • two choruses for piano
  • one chorus (all instruments with trumpet now muted)
  • head repeated
  • coda (solo muted trumpet)