Space City Funtet: BLAST-OFF!
This is an album of new compositions for voice, saxophone, clarinet, guitar, piano and bass, intended to accompany films, TV shows and commercials that haven’t yet been created. They’re playful and inventive and joyful and fun: music written to herald the new FutuRetro Age. We’re blasting off into the art of the future!
Fondly reminiscent of the Space Age music of the 1950s, the music on this album recalls its mirth-making melodic ancestry. You may hear in these arrangements the influence of Raymond Scott, Lyle Murphy, Martin Denny, Bill Hitz, Esquivel, Gil Mellė, Enoch Light, Alan Hawkshaw, Bill Finegan, Don Sebesky, Marty Paich, Claus Ogerman and Alain Romans.
Richie Kaye’s Space City Funtet is based in Houston, Texas, where all ignition systems are GO!
After I heard the CD of Blast-Off! I had to do a double take. Released in 2019 by Richie Kaye’s Space City Funtet, Blast-Off! is greatly influenced by a range of jazz and Americana sounds and styles, yet after reading the liner notes, it all started to make sense to me. First I thought Richie’s music was Tin Pan Alley retro pop but when I saw Richie’s influences, which includes eclectic exotica and lounge music artists like Raymond Scott, Esquivel, Martin Denny and even Shadows’ keyboardist Alan Hawkshaw, I began to think that Richie is truly an eclectic band leader, singer and composer. Recorded in Houston Texas, Blast-Off! features Richie performing lead vocals as well performing a range of instruments from archtop guitar and ukulele to all manners of weird percussion (ice machine and chopsticks too?). With its 17-track mix of vocal and instrumental music, Blast Off! also features contributions from a range of artists including co-composer Tony LaVorgna (alto sax, clarinet). Other musicians also add in more instruments including horns, string bass and piano. With titles like “Champagne On The Plane”, “Marinara Honeymoon” and Penguin Parade”, the sound and vision of Blast Off! is eclectic FutuRetro, yet at the same time it’s also very humorous, off-beat and above all, highly entertaining. Music fans should expect the unexpected with Blast Off! by Richie Kaye’s Space City Funtet.
— Robert Silverstein
Richie Kaye Music and AudioTheater Services LLC