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Sounding the horn for Trumpets

Photo Credit: Rick Savage
Photo Credit: Rick Savage

IN TUNE: Imagine a club very much like the Blue Note, but not as cramped.  Imagine an owner who is not only friendly but accommodating.  Imagine not having to pay tolls or parking fees, getting good food at good prices – with only a $10 cover.

CLIFFVIEW PILOT photo

Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair makes it happen.

Sure, you’ve heard of the joint – it’s been there 12 years. But have you ever gone? You’d be amazed at the surprises that await.

We went for my boyfriend’s birthday not too long ago and were floored. First off, even though we’d already had dinner, we were curious about the menu. The place was so warm and inviting  — with terrific sound – that we figured there’d be a fine kitchen to match.

And there was (We plan on returning soon with empty stomachs).

Then owner Enrico Granafei presented the Rick Savage 4tet , who warmed us with familiar standards and delighted us with delectable choices from some jazz luminaries.

We’d seen Rick Savage play his trumpet with Bob Magnuson and The Funky Organics. But this was jazz of a different temperature.

PHOTO: Rick Savage


What distinguishes Rick are his wonderful personality and intense passion. He is generous, often stepping off the stage so the other artists can have the spotlight to themselves. Watch his face and you’ll see him admiring their performances.

In the zone throughout the night was Zen Zadravec on piano.

On bass – or what Rick amusingly referred to as “Giant Violin” – was the richly talented David Kingsworth.

And on drums: As cool a cat as ever was, Eliot Zigmond. No surprise, given his impressive pedigree. Check out: eliotzigmund.com .

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The lead singer was a sweet surprise: All of 21 years old, Lusine “Lucy”  Yeghiazaryan of New Milford has the touch of a veteran. She already has the experience, having made it to Hollywood two years ago on “American Idol.” She has a large and loyal following – and with good reason.

Born in Armenia, Lucy moved to the U.S. in 2003. She’s one of four musically talented siblings known as the YY Sisters, who perform traditional Armenian classical music in three-part harmony.

As a youngster, Lucy was a scholarship student at NJPAC’s Jazz for Teens Program. She was also a finalist in WOR’s “Shining Star Search” competition.

The band launched the evening promptly at 7:30 with Gershwin’s moody “Summertime,” a clever choice of mood setter in mid-January. Lucy soon came up for “But Not for Me” and then “Tea for Two.” She’s so suited for jazz, her voice a fifth instrument in the mix. We both got lost in her scatting.

It’s not easy to pull off “Black Coffee,” given the female grand dames who’ve sung it before. But Lucy has the kind of maturity that kept her from over-reaching without under-playing.  Nice….

We got the chills when the band slid into “Naima,” a Coltrane tune. We like our entertainment eclectic.

Then again, that’s part of what draws such talent to Trumpets.

Granafei, who owns the business with his wife, has an impressive performance resume of his own (CLICK: EnricoGranafei) , having recorded with Eddie Gomez, Marc Johnson, Ted Curson, Nnena Freelon and many others.

Rick Savage Trumpet

In this economy, you’d think the alternative to a pricey night in the city is to stay home. Trumpets turns that premise on its head.

Some great shows are on tap.

Tell Enrico we sent you.




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