I think Danyel Smith is a genius with this podcast as she’s showing love and giving artists/genres the recognition that’s deserved. The way she talks about jazz being a way of life and black women springing from the sound of jazz is truly beautiful.
I’m a jazz fan but there are aspects to the art I’ve never thought about in such detail. Billie Holiday was the main focus because of the way she took on the genre of jazz to birth some of the biggest/greatest hits, and inspiring other artists to create their masterpieces. A lot of my favorite artists were discussed due to their connections with Holiday as black women and showing her influence in their music. Artists like Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Tina Turner, Chaka Khan, and a few other’s were discussed with clips of their songs being played to demonstrate the Holiday sound. Not only is music discussed, but we learn a lot about the artists personal lives that were filled with tragedy but helped be a catalyst for the beautiful music.
Danyel has clearly taken the time to do her research and has a passion for who/what she’s talking about with the way she speaks. Her adoration made the episode even more enjoyable because as an admirer myself, I understand her joy and frustration with the treatment of black women. A similar story of abuse, addiction, exploitation, and heartbreak are what ties these women together, but their resilience granted us vulnerable yet bold pieces of work that remain relevant throughout generations. I loved hearing samples of songs acapella that showcased the raw power of their voices possessed. Danyel educates the audience on the ways these artists tap into their jazz nature by using their mouths as instruments that are produced from their strong emotions. A great fun fact was learning Erykah Badu was inspired to be called “Badu” based on the jazz note “badu”, another way in which homage is paid to Billie Holiday.