Chilton, John (James)
- Barry Kernfeld
(b London, July 16, 1932; d London, Feb 25, 2016). English writer on jazz and trumpeter. He formed his own band in 1954, was a member of Bruce Turner’s Jump Band (1958–63), and entered a permanent affiliation with George Melly in 1971. Although a performer of only minor importance, he came into contact with many notable players, about whom he wrote. His writings demonstrate a rare ability (within the realm of jazz literature) to combine access to first-hand information with meticulous research into published sources and memorabilia. His strength was in detailing biographical activities rather than in offering musical description and analysis, although his later books (notably those on Bechet, Hawkins, and Jordan) ventured into this area. His reference works are clearly intended to be read in conjunction with discographies, as he has restricted the discussion almost exclusively to performance, with only occasional references to recordings. His ...