Ordinary Giants: A Life and Times 1918–2018
by Robb Johnson, out now on CD
Ordinary Giants is a song suite by Robb Johnson about the life and times of his father, Ron Johnson, who served in the Second World War. It follows his acclaimed 1997 album Gentle Men, which looked at his grandfathers and the First World War. The many contributors on Ordinary Giants include the late Roy Bailey, Maddy Carty, Phil Odgers, Tom Robinson, Steve White, and even Dennis Skinner.
Royal Albert Hall and other venues, BBC iplayer,
13 July to 8 September
The two main themes of this year’s Proms concerts are 1918 and the celebration of women composers. Composers to look out for are Lili Boulanger (six works over four Proms) and singer songwriter Laura Mvula. Youssou Ndour & Le Super Étoile de Dakar bring a mix of Cuban rumba, Hip Hop, jazz and soul in a late night concert. Tickets from £6.
War and Life
There are two great exhibitions both showing at the Tate Britain. Aftermath: Art in the wake of World War One until September 2018. This includes works by George Grosz, Otto Dix, Fernand leger and early Dada artists among others. Also the exhibition All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life, until August 2018.
Out now on CD, streaming and download
Hugh Masekela, the South African singer, songwriter and jazz musician who died in January, produced an incredible array of music over many years. The decade covered on this 47-track collection includes the time he spent in exile in the US, where he got involved with the anti-war and black power movements. It features many tracks never released in Britain.
On Netflix now
A biopic about the early life of Roxanne Shanté, rap’s first female star. This film portrays the rapper’s life in the housing projects of Queens, New York, in the early 1980s. She must deal with a depressed, alcoholic mum and help raise her siblings. All the while she is developing an interest in the new art form growing around her, and then battling with the boyfriends, DJs and managers who are trying to control her.