Webster’s Dictionary defines a Chimera as a monster from Greek mythology that breathes fire and has a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a snake’s tail. The Chimera is alive and well in modern day society and goes by the name of Asher Fulero. This multi-faceted musician has successfully managed to avoid being pinned into one genre of music, as demonstrated by Catching Air, the debut full-length release from Portland’s Asher Fulero Band, comprised of Brett McConnell on bass, Murray Gusseck on drums, Darvey Santner and Nathan Day on guitar, and Fulero on keys and vocals.
Like the fabled Chimera, you’ll be tempted to immediately classify Catching Air into a quantifiable genre. As elements of jazz, Americana, rock, and funk beset your eardrums you’ll realize that the album is a seamless marriage of many of the elements that Fulero has picked up over his eclectic music career. With a wide range of session work under his belt and serving as keyboardist, producer, and composer on his own diverse projects, Fulero has hit the sweet spot as lead man for these songs. Even with immaculate arrangements, the record manages to retain a sense of free-form jazz, which keeps it moving.
With guest appearances from Mimi Naja (Fruition) and Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), and recorded and mixed by Justin Phelps (who has worked with Cake, The Mars Volta, and Dresden Dolls to name a few), this latest release may defy a single classification, but you won’t be able to deny its power to get your hips moving. It’s probably best not to look Catching Air directly in the eyes, but be careful, it’ll sneak up on you if you turn away completely.
– Stephanie Scelza
Asher Fulero Band celebrates the record release with Yak Attack October 24 at The Goodfoot