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 // 30 Articles
Columns // 105 Articles
Reviews // 561 Articles
Blogs // 4 Articles
//Features

The Best Jazz of 2016 | 4 Dec 2016 // 8:30 PM

These are the 20 "best" jazz records of 2016 identified in stylistic diads, ranked loosely from most sublime to merely breathtaking.

"Music Is Up There and You Can't Touch It": Macy Gray Talks About Her New Album 'Stripped' | 2 Oct 2016 // 8:35 PM

The soul singer's latest was made with just one microphone and four jazz musicians covering mostly her older hits. Simplicity has its merits.

//Columns

Overlooked Jazz Gems of 2016 | 30 Jan 2017 // 9:00 PM

No matter how much music I listen to every year, I miss some great records, somehow. Here are a half-dozen albums from 2016 that deserve our attention.

Finding the Sublime in Jazz, an Argument for Abstraction | 21 Nov 2016 // 9:00 PM

Jazz columnist Will Layman presents seven pieces of music as evidence of the beauty and urgency of pure sound in instrumental jazz.

//Reviews

Ralph Towner: My Foolish Heart | 9 Feb 2017 // 8:15 PM

Solo classical guitar from the ECM stalwart whose music is so beautiful that it can seem vanilla. But it isn't.

Wolfgang Muthspiel: Rising Grace | 20 Dec 2016 // 5:51 AM

The Austrian jazz guitarist plays beautifully in his third outing for ECM with a remarkable band featuring Larry Grenadier, Brian Blade, Brad Mehldau, and Ambrose Akinmusire.

//Blogs

Bubbling Under the 75 Best Albums of 2011: Tedeschi Trucks Band | 14 Dec 2011 // 2:00 AM

This week we presented our Best 75 Albums of 2011. Here are several more just bubbling under the top 75...

The Apples in Stereo: #1 Hits Explosion | 13 Dec 2009 // 4:30 AM

The Apples in Stereo - #1 Hits Explosion - Yep Roc [$13.98]

//Mixed media
//Blogs

'Fire Emblem Heroes' Is a Bad Crossover

// Moving Pixels

"Fire Emblem Heroes desperately and shamelessly wants to monetize our love for these characters, yet it has no idea why we came to love them in the first place.

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