The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
ENO's production of La Boheme is a triumph,
An avowed genre-buster, Ibrahim Maalouf has always defied easy categorisation.
So it proves with Diagnostic, a musical odyssey taking in the Arab world, the Balkans, Cuba and even China, with occasional visits to the shores of heavy metal and Michael Jackson.
It's an exhilirating journey marked by effortless shifts betwen genres and identities.
Will Soon Be A Woman starts as a Chopinesque meditation on piano and within a few bars shifts majestically and impercetibly into what could almost be a spaghetti-Western soundtrack.
Maalouf's a virtuoso trumpet player and that's evidenced throughout - there are moments when you could be listening to A latter day Miles Davis or Roland Kirk, although his relenteless invention demonstrates his musical path is pretty unqiue.
His piano improvisations on in Your Soul are outstanding and other stand-outs are the irrestible Cuban son on Maeva In Wonderland, the call-and-response between voice and trumpet on Everything Or Nothing and the elegaiac Beirut, Maalouf's tribute to his home city. A treat.