Will Layman is a writer, teacher and musician living in the Washington, DC area. He is a contributor to National Public Radio and frequently appears as a guest on WNYC’s “Soundcheck” as a jazz critic. He plays both funk and jazz in the bars and clubs in and near the nation’s capital. His fiction and humor appear in print and online.
Sunday, September 21 2014
The jazz of the '00s jumped past the great divide of earlier years, obliterating the distinction between tradition and avant-garde, jazz and pop, letting the genre blossom.
Monday, April 7 2014
PopMatters got an advance listen to the new recording from the "newgrass" sensation -- and an interview with guitarist Sean Watkins.
Sunday, February 3 2013
The recently released early recordings of Louis Armstrong remind us that no one made a more complete contribution to art in the 20th century.
Tuesday, January 15 2013
New Pornographers frontman and solo artist Carl "A.C." Newman talks about his failure to be a real rock star and how an almost painful self-consciousness creates his work.
Wednesday, December 12 2012
Jazz today remains the music that stays alive through a remarkable alchemy. On this list, traditions that go back to the jazz roots co-exist with modern pop tunes, and the avant-garde edges of the music blend in fluid ease with tonal beauty.
Wednesday, March 11 2015
Two unique jazz phenoms of the Reagan '80s -- tapping guitarist Stanley Jordan and falsetto scatting legend Bobby "Don't Worry, Be Happy" McFerrin -- are back.
Sunday, January 18 2015
Grammy nominations in jazz are rarely adventurous and usually confusing. Yet this year's slate is intriguing.
Tuesday, December 9 2014
Trumpeter Igmar Thomas and his haunting tune, "The Hunted", sums up the most difficult lesson of 2014.
Wednesday, November 19 2014
There's an unending flow of vocal jazz these days, which is a blessing and a curse. Beyond the glut of rehashed standards from 50 years ago, some original work shines.
Wednesday, October 22 2014
What if today’s jazz is a little bit Bill Frisell and a little bit Ornette Coleman?
Monday, March 2 2015
A hard-edged evocation of the free blues spirit of Charlie Parker by a modern saxophonist with the spirit to get Bird right.
Wednesday, February 25 2015
Iyer’s trio returns for its ECM debut, a sharp rhythmic workout that continues this musician’s brilliant run.
Sunday, February 22 2015
The trumpeter, brother of guitarists Kevin and trombonist Robin, leads a sharp band of top players, and the result is a gem.
Sunday, February 8 2015
The guitarist takes his acoustic band (guitar trio plus vibes) for a spin on some classic fusion tunes from the 1970s.
Sunday, February 1 2015
This time out, saxophonist Paul Shapiro refracts his Jewish heritage not only through jazz but also through raw rock sounds, with guitarist Marc Ribot utterly riveting throughout.
Wednesday, December 14 2011
This week we presented our Best 75 Albums of 2011. Here are several more just bubbling under the top 75...
Sunday, December 13 2009
The Apples in Stereo - #1 Hits Explosion - Yep Roc [$13.98]