Jazz

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Gotta Be Me: Miles Davis’ Music And Style In The Fifties

“Protean” is a word often used to describe Miles Davis. And while it’s become a cliché nearly 25 years after his passing, the latest Bootleg Series release, which came out last week, illustrates just how true it is. The Miles reissue parade has focused largely on specific groups, mammoth recording sessions, or complete concert experiences.

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Handed Down: A Video Interview With Oak Street Bootmakers

On Tuesday a video posted on YouTube — promoted by none other than Coors beer — featuring an interview with Oak Street Bootmakers founder George Vlagos. Vlagos talks about inheriting the cobbler craft from his father, even though his dad was against his son’s desire to work with his hands. While so many larger companies have

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From The Archives

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Golden Years: Getting High On Reefer Twill

We continue our exploration of the double-breasted jacket’s place in the Ivy genre with these recollections from King Richard XLIV. * * * The best-selling blazer in J. Press history was gathered by its roots from Aunt Florence. Irving Press’s spouse was a lady who lunched at the fringes of La Cote Basque and other

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Soft Shoulder Shuffle By The Hook Vents

Last week something new shook the foundations of the sedate community of Tradsville — a rockin’ blues band called The Hook Vents. The coolest thing about the band and their tune “Soft Shoulder Shuffle” is that the musicians were never in the recording studio together. They simply laid down their tracks individuallly and emailed them


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My Way: Section Of West 77th Named For Miles Davis

Today, on Miles Davis’ birthday, a section of West 77th Street is being christened Miles Davis Way. The jazz legend made his home there for 25 years. Davis will always hold a special place here, as it was in the summer of 2008, while on assignment for Ralph Lauren Magazine doing a piece about when


bert marilyn

The Marketing Man Who Made Jazz And Ivy Cool

Commenting on our article “Is Ivy Cool?” reader “Camford” asked, “Are cigarettes and jazz cool?” I cannot say whether they are cool. Well, I could, but I won’t, as my physician, insurance agent and childhood music teacher might be reading this article. But I believe they are both addictive and potentially lethal. When I was young


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The Heyday Christmas Turntable

The time for Christmas cheer is once again upon us and Ivy Style is here to help you celebrate in midcentury manner. When one thinks of the Christmas season, one of the first things to spring to mind is music. With that in mind, here’s a look back at some worthy old chestnuts, standards and


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Room For Squares: Kamakura’s Handkerchiefs & Neckties

We’ll conclude the recent batch of Kamakura-versus-Brooks discussion (aka the “buttondown showdown”) with a couple of photos snapped yesterday in the Madison Avenue store. The shop may be small, but it still has room for some newly arrived pocket squares and wool neckties, in addition to all the shirts.


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This Day In 1959

…. the Guggenheim Museum opened. One year later William Claxton took the above photo of jazz saxophonist John Coltrane. A previous Ivy Style tribute to Coltrane (and the Claxton photo shoot) is here, while a post on striped sportcoats is here. As for posts on buttondown-collared shirts, Mr. Erik J. has weighed in on the


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A New Port Of Call

Lately we’ve been talking about the year 1954 as an arbitrary starting point for the Ivy heyday. Both LIFE Magazine and Playboy ran big stories on the look that year, and Miles Davis is believed to have first donned Ivy duds about that time, serving as an example of the many guys who would become


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Must-Have Summer Vacation Item: The Dacron Suit, 1961

Every so often while working the Ivy beat, I come across an historical document so utterly anathema to the world of today that it feels like it’s from another universe. Case in point, this advertisement just dug up by assistant editor Chris Sharp. It ran in a May, 1961 edition of the Brown University school


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Ivy Style Salutes Squaresville Appreciation Month

Now that April’s Jazz Appreciation Month is over, Ivy Style would like to declare the merry month of May Squaresville Appreciation Month. Throughout the month Ivy Style will cater to philistines, dullards and middlebrows with series of posts devoted to repressed WASPs, conservative politicians, the accounting and insurance industries, Internet trads, and the buttoned-down mind


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Lemmony Snippet: Jack’s Jazz Piano At Cafe Carlyle

We close our tribute to Jazz Appreciation Month with the short clip above, in which Jack Lemmon demonstrates his impressive piano chops at Cafe Carlyle with Bobby Short. Not one sour note. Lemmon was born to play the sack-suited, dyspeptic advertising man of the Atomic Age. We’ve previously done posts on his films “Good Neighbor


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Jazz Goes To College

On our recent post in honor of Jazz Appreciation Month, someone left a comment saying he was at college in the ’50s and that jazz was only for beatniks. Sure beatniks dug jazz, but so did the guys above, and they’re goatee and sandal-free. The photo is from the 1960 yearbook of Lehigh University, and



It Might As Well Be Spring

Last night on the quiz show “Jeopardy!” there was a jazz category. The contestants left it for last and then failed to answer a single question. America’s classical music, indeed. On New Year’s Eve I made a resolution to work on my jazz piano chops. It’s the only resolution I’ve kept through March. My girlfriend