Samantha Roddick explores the enduring appeal of Botticelli's masterpiece The Birth of Venus, one of the most celebrated paintings in western art. A joyous celebration of female sexuality, its journey to worldwide fame was far from straightforward and it lay in obscurity for centuries. Artist and entrepreneur Sam explains why Botticelli's nude was so revolutionary, and explores its impact on contemporary culture with artists such as Terry Gilliam, who memorably reinvented Venus for his Monty Python's Flying Circus animations.
This totally new series connects generations through profiles of legends like Frank Sinatra and Al Capone in a way you've never seen them before. This series isn't just about where they were born or how much money they made. The driving force of every episode of AMERICAN ICONS is our legends' enduring impact! Al Capone – the quintessential self-made American man, ruthless killer or both? Just his name sparks images of pin-stripe suits and bloody violence. To this day, Americans are fascinated by this celebrity gangster. The question is why?
Weather Report's ever-changing lineup shifts again, with the somewhat heavier funk-oriented Leon "Ndugu" Chancler dropping into the drummer's chair and Alyrio Lima taking over the percussion table. As a result, Tale Spinnin' has a weightier feel than Mysterious Traveller, while continuing the latter's explorations in Latin-spiced electric jazz/funk. Zawinul's pioneering interest in what we now call world music is more in evidence with the African percussion, wordless vocals, and sandy sound effects of "Badia," and his synthesizer sophistication is growing along with the available technology. Wayne Shorter's work on soprano sax is more animated than on the previous two albums and Alphonso Johnson puts his melodic bass more to the fore. While not quite as inventive as its two predecessors, this remains an absorbing extension of WR's mid-'70s direction.
Performances of the music of Richard Wagner will for many be associated with Ivбn Fischer's elder brother Adam who has conducted complete Ring cycles at Bayreuth & in Budapest. Those, however, who follow the concert schedules of Ivбn Fischer & his phenomenally hard working Budapest Festival Orchestra will know that they have performed the Wagner programme featured on this SACD – or variations on it - to great acclaim in many of the major European cities over the past couple of years.
Musicmagic is Return to Forever's seventh and final studio album and one of the best jazz recordings released in the fusion genre. The album contains the final line-up of the band with only founders Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke returning from the previous recordings. This 1977 release was the first Return to Forever album in five years to contain vocals, performed here by Corea's future wife Gayle Moran and the surprisingly enjoyable Stanley Clarke. This album also marked the return of original member Joe Farrell on saxophone and flute, along with several new members making up a killer five-piece horn section…