Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Will Layman
Image: Will Layman

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.


Features

Sunday, September 21 2014

Jazz of the '00s: Jumping Past the Great Divide

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

Nickel Creek Returns to Recording and Touring with 'A Dotted Line'

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 Permanence of Pops: Louis Armstrong and American Music

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

"Very Self-Conscious About Everything": An Interview with A.C. Newman

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

The Best Jazz of 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.


Columns

Thursday, September 25 2014

Singing Across Continents: An Interview with Somi

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

The Sonny Rollins / 'New Yorker' Controversy and Jazz's Image Problem

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

Smokin' Modernism Is Alive and Well in the Upper West Side

Smoke Sessions Records is doing it old-school: recording the best musicians in New York playing mainstream jazz that cooks.


Tuesday, June 17 2014

Talent Will Out: Singer-Songwriter Nicky Schrire on Making It in New York

South African jazz singer Nicky Schrire has made three tremendous records, but she isn't well known. That ought to change.


Tuesday, May 6 2014

On the Upswing: Craig Handy and Second Line Smith

Saxophonist Craig Handy has a killer new band that combines the jazz-funk of Jimmy Smith with a New Orleans second line groove.


Double Standards [16.Jul.08]
Bass Reflections [16.Oct.07]

Reviews

Tuesday, October 21 2014

Diana Krall: Wallflower

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

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey: Worker

The constantly morphing new jazz trio moves into deeply atmospheric, electronic territory and dares you to follow.


Monday, October 13 2014

Medeski Scofield Martin and Wood: Juice

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

Walt Weiskopf: Overdrive

An under-heard but top-notch tenor player, leading a sharp band through excellent tunes. Vibes, guitar, driving rhythm, all right here.


Thursday, September 25 2014

Jason Moran: All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller

A wild mix of styles are brought to the music of Fats Waller by the pianist Jason Moran and his collaborator MeShell Ndegeocello. A dance party that proves, again, that jazz boundaries are joyously crumbling.


NRBQ: Brass Tacks [18.Jun.14]
Keith Jarrett: Rio [28.Nov.11]
Keren Ann: 101 [22.Mar.11]
Vijay Iyer: Solo [19.Oct.10]
Commonwealth [22.Jul.08]
Fieldwork: Door [13.Jul.08]
Cuong Vu: Vu-tet [17.Apr.08]
Joe Jackson: Rain [27.Jan.08]
Tahiti 80: Fosbury [28.Jan.07]
Richard Bona: Tiki [13.Dec.06]
Sex Mob: Sexotica [31.Aug.06]
KEM: Album II [16.May.05]

Blogs

Wednesday, December 14 2011

Bubbling Under the 75 Best Albums of 2011: Tedeschi Trucks Band

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

The Apples in Stereo - #1 Hits Explosion - Yep Roc [$13.98]


Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.