Boston College Son House Country Blues & Bessie Smith Videos Discussion – Excelsior Writers |
Excelsior Writers |

Watch the Son House (country blues) and Bessie Smith (classic blues) videos found in the web links and videos menu on the homepage. In a 1-2 page response, discuss the performance style of each performer and how they use of all 4 ‘jazz DNA’ elements. Are there similarities between the two performances in style or content, if so mention specifics. Site specific moments in each song to support your ideas about their use of the jazz DNA, referencing either lyrics or, more importantly, timings (ei. at 2:30 the guitar did x,y and z). To conclude, read the article “Jazz History Remix: Black Women from Enter to Center” (pg. 256-262). The history of women in jazz (vocalists especially) begins with the Classic Blues singers. How does the presentation of Bessie Smith differ from that of Son House? Does it shape the narrative? emotional space? How does the representation of women of color in the Bessie Smith video compare to representation in pop music today?

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