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.
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.
Drummer and composer Kendrick Scott has kept a finely balanced band together, pulling together many lovely strands of American music to create jazz that is easy to hear but also complex and compelling. A reason to believe.
A composer and woodwind player who is expertly walking the line between jazz and new music, Anna Webber has assembled a great band of improvisors to follow her mostly-brilliant treasure map in the new jazz.
Saxophonist Branford Marsalis and his veteran quartet's The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul demonstrates his commitment to communicating emotions to listeners but without compromise to his kind of jazz.