Will Layman

Will Layman appears in the following:

The Year in Jazz

Monday, December 13, 2010

Jazz critic Will Layman of PopMatters.com joins us for a look at his favorite releases of 2010.

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Smackdown: Kind of Blue vs. Bitches Brew

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

2009 and 2010 have been big anniversary years for Miles Davis fans. But only one album can reign supreme. Today, Soundcheck's weekly Smackdown series pits the iconic Kind of Blue (1959) against the genre-bending Bitches Brew (1970). May the best riffs win!

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Smackdown: Artificial Intelligence

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Meet composer Emily Howell: she’s crafting original works of classical music that sound sharp and lively, if a little derivative. Some say her pieces sound like Bach or Liszt. The issue: Emily Howell is a computer-based algorithm, designed by composer David Cope. He joins us to talk about Emily Howell’s latest album, From Darkness, Light.

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Drummers: Heart of the Band...Or Butt of the Joke?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The drum kit has its fair share of esteemed idols: Neil Peart of Rush, Dave Grohl of Nirvana, ?uestlove of the Roots and many more. Yet drummers have always had a reputation for being unreliable and misanthropic. On today’s Soundcheck Smackdown, we debate whether the skin-bashers of the world deserve ...

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The Decade in Jazz and World Music

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We continue our Critics' Week coverage of the decade in music with a look at the best of world music and jazz. Siddhartha Mitter, world music critic for the Boston Globe, and Will Layman, jazz critic for PopMatters.com, give us their picks for the decade that was.

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Streisand Smackdown

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Having sold 140 million albums and won an armful of Grammys, Barbra Streisand has just released her first ¬full-length studio session in four years. Featuring her trademark romantic-ballad treatment on 13 well-known standards, it opened at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. While fans say Babs sings like buttah ...

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Smackdown: Jazz Fusion

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Since its emergence in the late 60’s, jazz-rock fusion has been controversial. Jazz purists decry its use of rock styles, electronic instruments, and what they feel are its commercial pretensions. Yet fans consider it visionary and experimental. As fusion makes a comeback with new albums and tours (not to mention ...

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The Incomplete Year in Music

Friday, July 31, 2009

On the this final day of July, we look back at the best music released so far in 2009. Three music critics lend a hand: Nate Chinen of the New York Times on rock, pop and rap; Anastasia Tsioulcas of Gramophone magazine on classical and opera; and Will Layman of ...

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Soundcheck Smackdown: Sax or Trumpet?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

One means John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins and is nicknamed the Devil’s Horn. The other is tied to Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis, and also with black masculinity. We’ll debate which instrument had the greater impact in jazz with saxophonist Branford Marsalis and jazz critic Will Layman.

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Smackdown: Jazz Fusion

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Since its emergence in the late 60’s, jazz-rock fusion has been controversial. Jazz purists decry its use of rock styles, electronic instruments, and what they feel are its commercial pretensions. Yet fans consider it visionary and experimental. As fusion makes a comeback with new albums and tours (not to mention ...

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The Year in Jazz

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Music writer Will Layman joins us for a Critics Week recap of jazz highlights from 2008. Cast your vote for jazz album of the year in our listener poll.

View Will Layman's list of the best jazz albums of 2008.

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Booze: Music's Friend or Foe?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In another edition of Soundcheck Smackdown, we debate the role of alcohol in live music. Some venues are allowing audience members to bring glasses of wine into once-dry concert halls. But Van Morrison has banned alcohol consumption from his concerts in England. Joining us to weigh in is Limor Tomer, ...

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Soundcheck Smackdown: European versus American jazz

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Some say the vanguard of jazz, America's quintessential music, is now coming out of Europe. Today, a Soundcheck Smackdown debate on whether European jazz is threatening the dominance of the US as the cradle of the art form. Joining us is Will Layman, a jazz critic who writes for Popmatters.com, ...

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Great Music, Uninspired Name

Friday, April 11, 2008

Some of the greatest jazz groups have lousy names. No wonder all the “quartets” and “quintets” seem alike. Today, we examine how to fix jazz’s image problem with Will Layman, a jazz critic who writes for Pop Matters, NPR and other publications; and Anne Mette Iversen, a composer and bassist ...

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Critics Week: The Year in Rock and Jazz

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

All this week, Soundcheck explores the highlights of 2007 in music. Today, find out how one album ignited controversy inside rock music while the jazz world stayed classy -- with a little help from Joni Mitchell. Pitchfork Media editor Ryan Schreiber and PopMatters writer Will Layman recap the year in ...

Women Behind the Kit

Thursday, September 06, 2007

In 1942, drummer Viola Smith sparked a fiery debate in the jazz music magazine Down Beat when she declared that women could "sit in any jam session and hold their own." More than 60 years later, Soundcheck asks teacher and jazz writer Will Layman how Smith's statement would be received ...

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