Will Layman is a writer, teacher and musician living in the Washington, DC area. He has been a contributor to National Public Radio and WNYC's "Soundcheck" as a jazz critic. He plays rock, funk, and jazz in the bars and clubs in and near the nation's capital. His fiction and humor appear in print and online.
Chilean guitarist and singer Camila Meza makes her eclectic major label debut and creates an ambitious recording that includes string quartet writing, original songs, and riveting covers from David Bowie to Elliot Smith to Milton Nascimento.
Jazz pianist Brad Mehldau creates another hybrid project built on a layering of keyboards, drums, woodwinds, voices, and strings—with a gloss of politics and religion along the edges. Occasionally brilliant.
Joel Ross is a young jazz star on the vibes with a working band in his Blue Note debut—working a vein that is modern but tied certainly back to a tradition that includes his inspiration, Bobby Hutcherson. Cracking good.
A wildly revised version of this venerable creative music ensemble makes a clean, beautiful new recording in the studio and live, with fresh music from Roscoe Mitchell and an argument that the original Art Ensemble of Chicago had everything to do with today's New Jazz.
Guitarist Ben Monder has created a quiet stunner: one disc of inventive solo guitar arrangements of standards, and then a second disc for his trio playing pop hits of the '60s and '70s in wonderful ways.