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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

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.


Sunday, December 9 2012

Taking Five with the Late Dave Brubeck

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.


Columns

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.


Tuesday, March 18 2014

Is Blue Note Records on the Rise, Again?

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.


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

Reviews

Wednesday, September 17 2014

Farmers by Nature: Love and Ghosts

The third release from a free jazz cooperative piano trio featuring Craig Taborn, Gerald Cleaver and William Parker


Wednesday, September 3 2014

Darius Jones and Matthew Shipp: Cosmic Leider: The Darkseid Recital

Chamber jazz that cries, whispers, and aches beyond standard harmony but with focus and clarity despite being wholly improvised.


Monday, September 1 2014

Robin Eubanks: Klassic Rock Vol. 1

The M-Base trombonist returns with a slippery, funky mix of rock tunes and originals.


Sunday, August 10 2014

Orrin Evans' Captain Black Big Band: Mother's Touch

A terrific, powerful pianist has his tunes revved up for big band: loose and grand.


Tuesday, August 5 2014

Rebirth Brass Band: Move Your Body

The New Orleans institution isn’t changing. Thank goodness.


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]


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