Interview with Le Digitalophone: Jazz Purveyors in the Modern Age

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Translated from original French

1. What is the mission of Le Digitalophone? Why does it exist?

Le Digitalophone is a blog/webzine that we created in the autumn of 2012. The initial idea was to create a place where we can share our discoveries and musical “coups de coeur” with some of our friends who love music, without thinking about opening it up into something larger. Very soon after its creation, we realized that music blogs were not rare. On the other hand, if there are many blogs dedicated to new music (electro, pop, hip-hop, etc), many fewer focus on Jazz. We therefore decided to enlarge the public side and our presence on social networks. 

We would love to show that the image Jazz carries today is false: that of an intellectual music that is very inaccessible. We want to show that it is rich, but also common. We talk about both the Jazz “classics,” and the modern groups that continue to evolve the style, and where it combines other newer music forms, like electro for example.

2. Where do you come from?

No one from our team comes from the universe of music or even of journalism. We don’t pretend to be professionals in these domains. Rather it is because we are true fans that we write and spread music on Le Digitalophone. We try to only share our musical tastes. We teach ourselves a lot about the history of Jazz during our research of the artists that we post about. It is really enriching for us too! 

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3. Jazz is one of the oldest styles of music, with regard to hip hop and electro for example, and it has changed a lot over history. Do you have a favorite period in the history of Jazz?

It is very difficult pick out a particular period. But it’s true, the history of Jazz did not start yesterday, it’s that which is interesting with this style of music. Even if today Jazz isn’t anchored in the popular culture, one must not forget that it came from there and it is still intimately connected. Decade after decade, Jazz colored society. Every bit of Jazz recalls a specific context that we cannot neglect. Every epoch is fascinating. That being said, if we must absolutely answer this question, we would say that the 60’s and 70’s, first marked by the hard bop and free Jazz, then followed by the emergence of Jazz fusion and Jazz funk, retains a lot of our attention. Incredible creative ideas were explored during this period, when everything was possible. 

And then the 70’s was also the golden age of Soul music, which we love too!

4. How do you use Whyd and other social networks to share music?

We have been very happy to discover Whyd, because it has become for us a way to assemble different pieces that we love in one single place. We also regroup the artists we have identified on our pages and which we are about to write about, so that the rest of Le Digitalophone team can follow our discoveries. It is very practical. Being able to share with other Whyd music lovers is also clearly a plus, it generates more musical discoveries! We also post the artists that we haven’t necessarily had the time to talk about, but that we want to make other people discover. The other social networks like Twitter, Facebook or Mixcloud for example, are more a way to have relationships with the readers of our blog. Whyd on the other hand is a musical extension! 

Subscribe to Le Digitalophone on Whyd, Like their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, and if you are interested in learning about the extensive backstory of Jazz and particularly the way it was influenced by history, read “Why Jazz Happened,” a new book by Marc Myers, the Jazz expert responsible for Jazz blog JazzWax.com