Articles written by: Irwin Block

Bassist Zack Lober mines his ancestry in a musical tribute to his grandfather
Features

Bassist Zack Lober mines his ancestry in a musical tribute to his grandfather

Following the path of many of our finest musicians, bassist/composer Zack Lober left his native Montreal seven years ago for the challenges and inspirations of the jazz life in New York City. It’s still the jazz world’s mecca, and that’s where Lober, 35, added a master’s degree at the famed […]

Book review: On Saudi Arabia by Karen Elliot House
Reviews & Previews

Book review: On Saudi Arabia by Karen Elliot House

In upheavals that convulsed the Arab world over the past two years, Saudi Arabia seemed immune. It is the last absolute monarchy in the world, and enormous wealth, profligate spending and political power is in the hands of the Al Saud family. Its princes control every important agency. Slavery was […]

Journalist Robert Fisk: Arab awakening calls for “justice and dignity”
Features

Journalist Robert Fisk: Arab awakening calls for “justice and dignity”

Robert Fisk is an award-winning British journalist who can lay claim to the “Mideast expert” sobriquet because he’s been covering the Middle East for more than 35 years. A PhD in history, Fisk is not one of those reporters who fly in somewhere when things get hot, get a quick […]

Restaurant review: Parthenon is as close as it gets to Greece
Food / Reviews & Previews

Restaurant review: Parthenon is as close as it gets to Greece

There’s a new addition to the restaurant choices on Queen Mary near Earnscliffe that has what it takes to attract a loyal following. Three of us dined at the Parthenon on a frigid weekday night, thoroughly enjoyed its traditional Greek cuisine and left with full bellies and taste satisfaction. The […]

Mark Abley lends a voice to a Canadian black sheep
Features

Mark Abley lends a voice to a Canadian black sheep

Mark Abley has had a good professional relationship with that fickle woman Lady Luck—he’s been at the right place at the right time so that his talent as a poet, journalist, non-fiction writer and editor has received broad recognition. But just as Montreal-based Abley, 57, had completed his latest work […]

Mark Abley on co-operation among Canadian political parties
Features

Mark Abley on co-operation among Canadian political parties

Mark Abley created a stir in The Gazette this fall with an opinion piece in which he called for an alliance of the left as the only way to end the division of anti-Conservative voting patterns. “Hard-core New Democrats, lifelong Liberals and fervent Greens have their differences, of course,” he […]

Marion Blake in her home office at Manoir Westmount.
Features

Editor gambled on moving to a Westmount residence … and won

For some, moving to a senior’s residence can be traumatic, for others it can be liberating, the right decision at the right time. That was the case for Marion Blake, who 10 years ago moved back to Canada after a decade in Cambridge, England, and who remembers the challenge as […]

He who laughs last is reading Josh Freed
Features / Reviews & Previews

He who laughs last is reading Josh Freed

Life in Montreal would be a lot more boring if we didn’t have Josh Freed poking fun at its vagaries. In his inimitable style, Freed has a way of turning commonplace activities into sources of joyful absurdity. Josh’s column in The Gazette is the first thing many of us turn […]

Louise Harel says she plans to return to university for a week of English immersion.
Features

Louise Harel, the woman who would be mayor

Now that Montreal has its first anglo mayor in a century, Louise Harel has a new record in mind: becoming the city’s first female mayor. With city hall shrouded in a black cloud of collusion, corruption and kickbacks, Harel sees herself as having a credible chance of taking over next […]

Harriet Johnson is among 33 people who have signed on to a class-action lawsuit against the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children.
Features

‘I saw the devil’ in Home for Colored Children, alleged abuse victim says

Physical, psychological and sexual abuse of minors leaves an indelible mark on their lives. The pain never goes away completely, but more and more victims are seeking recognition and retribution. Harriet Johnson, mother of six and a Montreal resident, has taken a two-track approach for abuse suffered at the Nova […]