Chris Daly won’t change his name.
Will Archer, the artist formerly known as Slime, has changed monikers yet again, reclaiming the schoolyard taunt Wilma Archer for his most recent project, a foray into funked out space jazz. While the Many Named One made his original name for himself writing compositions for such artists as Jessie Ware and Jeremiah Jae, Archer continues to demonstrate his own growth as an artist following his 2015 Weird World label debut, Company. Confused? You won’t be after this week’s review.
While we’re quick to flaunt and fawn over the U.S. jazz renaissance, the smooth operators among us have started to realize that there’s a resurgence happening across the pond, too. Artists from GoGo Penguin to young Master Archer are taking the genre in new directions of their own. Every artist has his/her own influences, and the English jazz scene seems as indebted to trip-hop as it is to hard bop. These practitioners are as likely to have been raised on Tricky and Massive Attack as they were on Miles and Coltrane.
These newer sounds come through loud and clear and lovely from this new beat generation. On “Scarecrow,” Archer starts with a Dr. Lonnie Smith funk-jazz vibe and goes from there. A showcase for each of the artists involved, we get downtown plunk bass, Carlos Santana-esque guitar solos, keyboards that would keep Bernie Worrell’s foot tapping, and a squawking sax that refuses to plot any course but its own. Throw in some light vocal scatting at the end, and you have a late night jam that is more likely to attract than frighten away any Heckles or Jeckles in your crew. “Scarecrow” drops Feb. 23 on a split 7″ with the equally engaging “Cures & Wounds” on the Weird Worlds imprint from Domino Records. Pick it up. Don’t be scurred.