JOHN CHILTON, 83, on Feb. 23 in London, UK following a brief illness. A Grammy-winning jazz writer who also played the trumpet, he was George Melly’s musical partner for nearly four decades. Melly, one of Britain’s greatest jazz stars, and Chilton’s band—The Feetwarmers—were the resident Christmas act at Ronnie Scott’s club in Soho for more than 30 years and also had their own prime-time BBC series called Good Time George.
Chilton won a Grammy Award in 1983 for his album notes on Bunny Berigan (along with Richard Sudhalgter) and was runner-up for a further Grammy in 2000 for his work on Lester Young. His Who’s Who of Jazz is considered one of the essential books on jazz.
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.