Jazz

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From The Editor

  Ivy is a fashion born of a mindset manifested in a lifestyle.  There are values attached:  dignity, the value and power of thought, ethics, hard work, aesthetics, appreciation of all things classic, and the dogged pursuit of excellence.   While Ivy evolves (I haven’t worn socks since Easter) the values don’t.  If you are a

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From The Archives

Decade Of Style: Boyer On Chensvold’s 10-Year Blogging Anniversary

Ten years ago today Christian Chensvold began his foray into menswear blogging with the founding of Dandyism.net. Four years later he turned his attention to the Ivy League Look, and he continues to find new niches to explore (under the loose heading Stickpin Media), with the recent launch of Golf Style. Bruce Boyer herein pays

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It Might As Well Be Spring

One night on the quiz show “Jeopardy!” there was a jazz category. The three contestants left it for last, then failed to answer a single question. America’s classical music, indeed… So here’s to spring, seersucker, and Sarah and Miles with something from the Great American Songbook. 


A Hankering For The Hip

The younger and less-hip cats out there likely didn’t get the reference in our last headline. “No Room For Squares” is the title of a 1963 album by Hank Mobley, who, like many jazz greats active during the heyday of the Ivy League Look, donned sack jackets, buttondown shirts and rep ties. Here are some


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, this Bootleg Series release, which came out in 21015 illustrates just how true it is. The Miles reissue parade has focused largely on specific groups, mammoth recording sessions, or complete concert experiences. They


Black History Month: Trane Keeps A-Rollin’

John Coltrane, saxophonist and visionary, set standards in nearly every facet of his short but ultimately fruitful life. While generally associated with Philadelphia, Coltrane is actually from Hamlet, North Carolina, and never tried to hide his Southern roots. In an interview by author Frank Kofsky — one of the few times his voice was recorded —


Black History Month: Bruce Boyer On Joe Williams

  For me, Joe Williams always was, is, and will be the perfect male jazz singer. I say this with the greatest respect to Armstrong, Sinatra, Nat Cole, Johnny Hartman, Torme, Bennett, and anyone else you can think of from that fifty-year classic period of  jazz singers, 1925–1975. From the moment I first heard his


Brooks Clothes & White Shoes: Harvard Blues, 1941

In 1941, Count Basie release “Harvard Blues,” which opens with the following immortal lines: I wear Brooks clothes and white shoes all the time I wear Brooks clothes and white shoes all the time Get three “Cs,” a “D” and think checks from home sublime The lyrics were written by George Frazier, close pal of


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


Holiday Trumpet Fanfare From Miles And Chet

Both Chet Baker and Miles Davis played pivotal roles in the founding of Ivy-Style.com. Both were remembered fondly by Charlie Davidson of The Andover Shop when I interviewed him for my 2008 article for Ralph Lauren Magazine entitled “Ivy League Jazz,” which inspired me to found this website. I later ended up writing profiles of


Rebirth Of The Cool

In 2015, PowerHouse Books, publishers of “Take Ivy,” released another book chronicling midcentury life on the East Coast. “Rebirth of the Cool: Discover the Art of Robert James Campbell” features mostly photos of jazz musicians, along with various shots of life in New York City by a photographer, as the title suggests, in the process


Farewell, Indian Summer

It’s September and time — or almost time — to put away the Indian madras for another year. The term “Indian summer,” incidently, refers not just to a meteorological phenomenon (which actually happens in fall), nor to wearing madras for three or four months of the year. It’s also the name of a haunting tune by