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, October 22 2014
What if today’s jazz is a little bit Bill Frisell and a little bit Ornette Coleman?
Thursday, September 25 2014
Somi is a not-exactly jazz singer with roots in Africa and the American midwest, and she has made the year's most amazing record, evoking the spirit of Lagos, Nigeria.
Sunday, August 17 2014
Why do jazz folks always sound so defensive about the music they love? Why can’t they take a pie in the face from Django Gold?
Monday, July 14 2014
Smoke Sessions Records is doing it old-school: recording the best musicians in New York playing mainstream jazz that cooks.
Tuesday, June 17 2014
South African jazz singer Nicky Schrire has made three tremendous records, but she isn't well known. That ought to change.
Thursday, October 23 2014
Is Pynchon suddenly relevant again? Has the culture's craziness finally just caught up to his penchant for conspiracy, paranoia, and crazy-named characters?
Tuesday, October 21 2014
The jazz singer tackles a set of boomer pop "standards", kind of like she was the Perry Como of her generation, and sounds plastic doing it.
Thursday, October 16 2014
The constantly morphing new jazz trio moves into deeply atmospheric, electronic territory and dares you to follow.
Monday, October 13 2014
The jazz trio, supplemented by frequent partner John Scofield, put out another appealing blend of jazz and groove music -- a flavorful if somewhat slight version of what they do best.
Thursday, October 9 2014
An under-heard but top-notch tenor player, leading a sharp band through excellent tunes. Vibes, guitar, driving rhythm, all right here.
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]