ERNIE 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.”
DAVID REESE, 63, on Feb. 3 in New York City. Curator of the Louis Armstrong House Museum since 2012, he had an impressive resume of historic preservation experience. Among the major projects he oversaw were the restoration of the garden which the Armstrongs designed for musical performances and entertaining, and uncovering Satchmo’s life mask and reinstalling it for public view. His previous assignments included the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, New York City’s Gracie Mansion and Gunston Hall in Virginia, the 18th century home of U.S. founding father George Mason.
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.
ERNESTINE ANDERSON, 87, on March 10 in Seattle, Washington. A jazz and blues singer whose career spanned six decades, her voice was once described by Quincy Jones as having the sound of “honey at dusk.” Originally from Houston, Texas, she recorded over 30 albums and was nominated four times for a Grammy Award. She toured for 18 months with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra (including an appearance at the presidential inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower) and performed all over the world from Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Centter to the first Monterey Jazz Festival in 1958. She was included in the Smithsonian Institution’s Jazz Singers anthology.