BLAST-OFF! (Freshen Up Records) is an album of 17 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 playful and inventive music on this album recalls its mirthmaking melodic ancestry but completely renewed and refreshed for the FutuRetro Age to come. You may hear in these arrangements the influence of Raymond Scott, Lyle Murphy, Martin Denny, Bill Hitz, Esquivel, Gil Melle, Enoch Light, Alan Hawkshaw, Bill Finegan, Don Sebesky, Marty Paich, Claus Ogerman and Alain Romans.
Richie Kaye (voice, archtop guitar, archtop ukelele, whistle, whispers, wood block, Chinese bell, small gong, homemade chac-chac, chopsticks, aerosol spray, ice machine, cellphone recorder, trashcan lid, senior hay ho) likes a good laugh. Richie is a singer, guitarist and song writer who has worked on television, on the live stage, in theaters, museums and clubs and in the subway. Based in Houston, Texas, he’s performed in the U.S. and Asia.
Tony LaVorgna (alto saxophone, clarinet) was on the road by age 19 with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra and more recently the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra as featured soloist. His own CD, The Atlanta All-Star Quartet Plays Bill Evans won the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences award for best jazz recording. Tony’s most recent album as leader, Happy Jazz, features David Budway (piano).
Ernesto Vega (tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute) has collaborated and performed with Cuban music legends Frank Emilio, Chucho Valdés, Bobby Carcasses, Jorge Reyes, Changuito and Arturo O’Farrill. His latest album, Tradition & Beyond, features Harold Lopez Nussa; past recorded work, Venir al Mundo, and DUO, both earned “best of” Cubadisco awards.
Thomas Helton (string bass, tuba) has performed an extensive repetoire including jazz, classical, heavy metal and the avant-garde, many of which compositions he created for ensembles and choreographers in the US, Europe and Taiwan. Among the performers he’s shared the stage with are Tim Hagans, Milt Jackson, Daniel Carter, Monty Alexander, Frank Gratkowski, Ernie Watts, Rufus Reid and many others.
Sam Kuslan (piano, junior hay ho) is a singer and pianist based in New Orleans, LA. He leads his own pop and jazz bands, tours with funk group Naughty Professor and commemorated the 100th anniversary of the United States’ National Park Service as musical director and leader of the National Park Service Centennial Band.
Richie Kaye’s Space City Funtet is based in Houston, Texas, where all ignition systems are GO!
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- CHAMPAGNE ON THE PLANE (2:30)
- DAPPER DINGHY (1:46)
- LUNCHEONETTE (1:04)
- SARAH AND CHRISTINE (2:13)
- MARINARA HONEYMOON
- FRUIT FLY (short intro version) (2:18)
- JIMMY'S TICK-TOCK (2:48)
- LAVA LOVE a/k/a I'VE GOTTA LAVA LOVE FOR YOU (2:34)
- PHODLY (short version) (2:30)
- RICHIE'S ROMP (2:51)
- MADAME DEFARGE (2:52)
- THE OLD SNEAKEROO (3:16)
- DO THIS, DO THAT (1:45)
- PENGUIN PARADE (2:20)
- THE HAY-HO SONG (0:59)
- ITTY BITTY KITTY (2:57)
- PRETTY PLEASE! Live at The Mint in New Orleans (2:29)