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.
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.
Sunday, December 9 2012
At just 14 years old, hearing "Take Five" leap off the vinyl initiated us boys into all the things that would soon come to matter: abandon and sex, ecstasy and intelligence, serious ideas and sensual pleasure in one package.
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.
Tuesday, May 6 2014
Saxophonist Craig Handy has a killer new band that combines the jazz-funk of Jimmy Smith with a New Orleans second line groove.
Tuesday, March 18 2014
One of the great treasures of jazz's past, the Blue Note record label, seems to be enjoying a new golden age. Here are two reasons why.
Thursday, January 30 2014
Some will tar a record with being “commercial” due to preset notions of what one might think an artist should be doing, rather than listening for what he actually is doing.
Monday, December 9 2013
This was another banner year for Latin Jazz, a genre that is so rich and established that it hardly a subset of jazz as much as a glorious thing unto itself.
Thursday, July 10 2014
The seminal bossa-nova record for American audiences still sounds perfect.
Wednesday, July 9 2014
Two masters play mostly love songs as if the night were coming to a close.
Wednesday, June 18 2014
The reconstituted smarty-pants rock band, in the studio, still wonderful, still weird and tuneful and a delight.
Tuesday, June 17 2014
A jazz drummer creates elaborate compositional structures that pulse with rhythm, yes, but also generate thrills through arrangement, layering, and the sheer power of sound.
Sunday, June 15 2014
The "downtown" guitarist works at the white-hot center of the jazz tradition in this swinging, out, tender, essential live recording from the jazz basement of legend.
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]