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, February 4 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.
Wednesday, January 16 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.
Thursday, December 13 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.
Monday, December 10 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.
Wednesday, August 15 2012
PopMatters interviews guitarist Derek Trucks about his new live album and recent tour with the Tedeschi Trucks Band and what it's like to collaborate with his wife -- and many other brilliant musicians -- every night on the road.
Wednesday, May 15 2013
David Sanborn may be the most imitated man in instrumental music. His ripe rasp on alto saxophone has been aped a thousand times over. Yet he's gotten little respect in true jazz circles.
Wednesday, April 17 2013
Why did you leave jazz, O Clarinet? Did you ask too much of us, or did we ask to much of you? Either way, you've returned with a sleek, expressive vengeance!
Thursday, March 28 2013
Is anything ever as wonderful as it seemed when you first fell in love with it? Some things are. Some things become even sweeter over time.
Thursday, February 21 2013
New Orleans to swing, swing to bop, bop to cool, cool to hard bop, hard bop to free jazz—"jazz style periods" are so often presented like this. But jazz's transformation often shifted independently of cultural happenings, and those shifts were far from linear.
Wednesday, January 30 2013
Suddenly saxophonist Jon Irabagon is everywhere: releasing his own music, starring as a sideman on wildly varying projects, constantly showing us that jazz can be whatever we want it to be.
Tuesday, May 7 2013
A lean and intriguing set of tunes from the usually frustrating but often brilliant saxophonist.
Thursday, April 11 2013
A double-disc set that finds the jazz pianist jamming on a baroque organ in the 1970s (when else?).
Thursday, March 28 2013
The antic jazz quartet, back on the job: fun and loose and flying.
Friday, March 15 2013
A saxophone-piano duet between the 75-year-old mystic and his recent partner. Beautiful.
Monday, March 11 2013
Pop songs radically reconfigured by the one-of-a-kind John Hollenbeck -- a shimmering triumph with an oddball touch.
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]