Jazz critic Ernie Santosuosso had died at 93

Ernie SantosuossoERNIE SANTOSUOSSO, 93, on Oct.19 in Norwell, Mass. Considered the dean of Boston jazz critics, he penned some 3,550 reviews and interviews for The Boston Globe over 31 years. He also helped launch The Boston Globe Jazz Festival in 1966. While his stories ranged across popular music and included interviewing the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, and Paul McCartney, his heart was always in jazz.

Known for his whimsy on and off the printed page, he said about his Army service in the South Pacific during World War II, “I wasn’t in any great danger. I think I tripped in the mess hall once.” Writing a 1976 travel piece, he described a vacation cruise to the Caribbean as “an epicurean orgy with copious amounts of food delicacies, round-the-clock revelry, and 57 varieties of Bingo within comfortable reach of the passenger.”

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Lew Shaw started writing about music as the publicist for the famous Berkshire Music Barn in the 1960s. He joined the West Coast Rag almost thirty years ago and has been a guiding light to this paper through the two name changes since then as we became The Syncopated Times.  47 of his profiles are collected in Jazz Beat: Notes on Classic Jazz. Volume two, containing profiles from 2013-2016 will be available on Amazon soon. He taps his extensive network of connections and friends throughout the traditional jazz world to bring us his Jazz Jottings column every month.

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