LITTLE STEVEN – ” Espresso Martini ” From Lilyhammer OST

Posted: June 22, 2019 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Little Steven Van Zandt has spent three seasons starring in the Netflix show Lilyhammer about a New York gangster starting his life over in Norway. In addition to playing the lead role, the longtime Bruce Springsteen E.Street Band sideman also co-wrote, produced and scored the series.

His music for the program, which concluded in 2014, is now being collected for a pair of albums due for release next month: Lilyhammer The Score – Volume 1:, Jazz and Volume 2: Folk-Rock Rio Bits and Pieces. And there is an exclusive premiere of the second volume’s “Espresso Martini” that you can listen to below.

The two albums are divided by themes, with the first focusing on the jazz music Van Zandt wrote for the series, while the second gathers three dozen tracks – from short incidental cues and African-influenced pieces to surf and classic rock – that play around in various genres. Both volumes will be released on July 12th.

The new “Espresso Martini” is one of the sets’ more bluesy songs, a steamy mood-setter that shows off Van Zandt’s musical versatility. The song “is an old-school King Curtis-style instrumental featuring Stan Harrison, who is my regular tenor sax player in the Disciples of Soul,” Van Zandt says. “I played the green Gretsch Anniversary model guitar that Marc Ribler got from Santa in [the 2018 Netflix movie] The Christmas Chronicles.”

Before Lilyhammer’s premiere in 2012, Van Zandt spent six seasons in the classic gangster series The Sopranos, starring as another gangster, Tony Soprano’s consigliere Silvio Dante. In between and since, Van Zandt of course has toured with Springsteen, performed on the Boss‘ albums with other members of the E Street Band and released a series of solo records, including Summer of Sorcery, with his Disciples of Soul which came out last month.

Volume 2: Folk, Rock, Rio, Bits And Pieces is a wildly eclectic affair that gathers together 36 tracks from the show, ranging from short music cues to full songs spanning across a dizzying array of genres. Opening with the broadcast version of the theme song “Lilyhammer Nocturne,” the song begins as a swinging jazz tune and then deftly segues into Norwegian folk music illustrating the collision of two cultures. Van Zandt fully embraced the Nordic country and integrated traditional Norwegian folk instruments into his musical arsenal to create an authentic sound for the show which was filmed in Lillehammer, Norway and watched by nearly one fifth of its population. Highlights of the folk songs include “Revelation,” “Lillehammer Mourning” and “Baptism.” On “Toboggan Negotiation,” Van Zandt, who played guitar on all but one track on the collection, injects a hard-strummed acoustic guitar into an otherwise traditional sounding folk song, creating a unique hybrid.

The pieces span the globe and musical history, ranging from the Ennio Morricone-esque “African Dawn,” to the Eastern sounds of “Tandoori Epiphany” and “Dance of the Persian Serpent,” to the symphonic rock of “Painted Angels,” to the bluesy “Espresso Martini,” to the surf rock of “Killer Surf” and the Latin jazz and mambo of “Stevie Colada and “Mojito.” On “Out Of The Darkness,” Van Zandt revisits his 1983 song and transforms it from a stadium rock anthem into a bittersweet instrumental with a Norwegian flavor while “Favella” conjures up images of Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro. Overall it showcases both the breadth of the extraordinary and ambitious music that Van Zandt created for the show and his immense talent as a songwriter, arranger, musician and musical chameleon

With Springsteen’s new record, Western Stars, just out, but no E Street Band tour planned this year, Van Zandt is on tour with the Disciples of Soul this summer. They’re currently in Europe, with North American dates starting on June 28th.

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