published August 03, 2018 | posted by detroit
English and his musicians are masterful in creating layers, and nowhere is this more beautifully orchestrated than “War in the Heavenlies.” The tune features Zen Zadravec on piano, Jaribu Shahid on bass, drummer Renell Gonsalves, Mark Kieme on flute, and Dwight Adams and John Douglas on trumpets.
On this cut, it’s the composition’s melody, and the richness of the bass line, which is doubled in the bass register of the piano and also on the guitar. Over the top of that, in the right hand of the piano, is a harmony that transforms the whole atmosphere with a chord that changes just one note at a time. Above this is a whole other melody that floats over the top. The mood and emotion produces an intense effect; it suggests, according to English, that down here in the mud and the blood and the beer, there’s a lot of activity in our daily lives, but up above there’s something else going on, it happens in the spirit, in an unseen world.