Mathieu Durand

The freshness of the unprecedented

It's true that there is movement in jazz. As never before. So I know it's better to complain about the Internet, it must be said that it is a waste of time, that Facebook is useless, that YouTube is stupid, that Instagram is empty, that Twitter it's a nest of "haters". But the truth is that these intercontinental and interstylistic movements that stir the music in 2016 are made possible only by the Web.

The Web it's a way to travel at an unbeatable price, while staying the ass screwed on his seat (it's less sexy certainly, but more friendly for the carbon footprint).
The Web allows a Japanese to listen to an Italian, a Chadian to get excited for an Australian or an Argentine to upset a Canadian.
The Web allows, thanks to a community of passionate archivists and resuscitators, to (re) discover a lot of music from the All-World (and often for free, which is good for the amateur and bad for the professional, but this is an other story).

I remember that once (it was in 2008 in Turin, prehistory: Snapchat did not exist yet) Fabrizio Cassol, the saxophonist of the Belgians Aka Moon, had told me something that had hanging in my head like a frank ritornello: "at the time, to know African music, it was necessary to go there. Now, you just have to go to YouTube". Of course he was exaggerating since he had finished that sentence with a laugh. (Yes, I reassure everyone, it's always better to go out on the ground to appropriate a culture.) But still, there is an old background of incredible truth in this sentence. Now, we can even make records without ever meeting, just by sending sounds by WeTransfer. When the Frenchman Erik Truffaz did this on the album Mexico with Murcof in 2008 (decidedly), it seemed baroque, unreal, unexpected. Today, it has become (almost) normal.

With this infinite mobility of works and people, we will finally stop thinking in terms of musical styles (this old concept of record display unit) to live in ambiances, atmospheres, worlds. Just as some are blaming the old left / right opposition for being obsolete, the jazz / classical / rock / world music / metal / electro / hip-hop confrontation no longer exists. Tchao bye, bye. Yes, the rapper Napoleon Maddox is much more jazz than some jazzmen. Yes, the jazz trio Kouma is much more rock than many rockers. Yes, the Franco-Colombians Pixvae (to stay on the french scene) are much more horny than a lot of people. And we will have to rediscover our adjectives to apprehend them and (thus) to share them.

Then, the goal is not to say it's better, not better, sad, great or disappointing. No, the goal is to observe and then try to understand by imagining new ways of naming. This early twenty-first century musical is cosmopolitan as never. And this plate tectonics will inevitably create new sonic continents. It's up to us to discover them with imagination. And especially not to copy the settlers of the past who only sought to enslave and conform the "new" continents to their "old" beliefs.

Mathieu Durand