Jazz

Warlord of the Weejuns

In 1965, Esquire jazz and style writer George Frazier wrote this essay for the liner notes of the album “Miles Davis’ Greatest Hits.” The Warlord of the Weejuns By George Frazier I don’t mean to be a bastard about this, but, at the same time, I have no intention of being agreeable just for the

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Holiday Party Footwear: Jay Butler’s Low-Vamp Bit Loafers

As you gear up for holiday parties and prepare to break out the Black Watch tartan and other festive items, here’s another footwear option. Those who aren’t fans of velvet slippers might want to take a look at the bit loafers by Jay Butler. Founded by Justin Jeffers, an enterprising young man in Pennsylvania, the

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From The Archives

Japanese Ivy News Roundup

Following the Boston Magazine Vineyard Vines profile and Garden & Gun OPH interview, we’ve one more batch of media pieces to catch up on. They concern Japanese Ivy, and are excellent, lengthy pieces well worth your time. First off, Lapham’s Quarterly has a piece by “Ametora” author W. David Marx called “The Climb Of Ivy,” which

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Shoulda Been There: A Swellegant, Elegant Party, 1957

This post from 2009 came up in conversation yesterday and is worth revisiting. What an incredible mix of people. I had great fun writing this and imagining the scene.  * * * One of the saddest phrases in the English language is “You missed a great party.” Well here’s one we all missed. In 1957


How A Bill Lays Down The Law

Derek at the Die Workwear! blog may be a style omnivore, but he still has a soft spot for the Ivy League Look. Yesterday he was on a bit of a trad kick. First he tweeted the following: Then he posted a great gallery of images of jazz pianist Bill Evans, along with some remarks


Jazz Appreciation Month: My Great American Songbook

Like many suburban California boys of a recalcitrant nature, I spent my early teenage years in the ’80s listening to rock, metal and punk. I went to many concerts in the San Francisco Bay Area, and even started a fanzine, foreshadowing my forays into Internet publishing years later. I even got to interview Kirk Hammett,


Jazz Appreciation Month: Bruce Boyer On Joe Williams

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, which G. Bruce Boyer kicks off with a previously unpublished ode to his favorite singer, Joe Williams. If you’ve an anecdote to share (as in our Tales From The Twilight series, more of which will be coming soon) about your favorite artist or album or how you discovered jazz, use


Young Man With A Horn

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post on Ethan Hawke’s new Chet Baker biopic, we’re revisiting Ivy Style’s one and only fashion photo shoot, originally posted on October 23, 2012. Today we begin planning a new one. * * * He was a prep-school dropout From the Donegal Mist Academy, Fortune’s fool who dared to love


Blue Notes: Ethan Hawke’s Chet Baker Biopic Opens

Ivy Style has been reporting for years on Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis biopic (which is finally going to be released), but who knew there was a Chet Baker film in development? Apparently we knew, and I’d forgotten all about it. And this weekend it opened. “Born To Be Blue” stars Ethan Hawke as the jazz


It Might As Well Be Spring

There’s a line from an old movie that goes, “It’s easier to change your mind than you cafe.” After a couple years of intractability, neighbor and Millennial Fogey columnist DCG and I had our morning coffee today at a new cafe. It’s a longer walk, but the coffee is better and so is the music.


Travel My Way: Jazz-Ivy Icon Bobby Troup

During the heyday of The Ivy League Look, a number of guys from preppy backgrounds wound up working in the field of jazz. Bobby Troup was one of them. Raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Troup prepped at The Hill School, then studied economics at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. While an undergraduate, Troup


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 2016

After more than seven years — and far removed from the peak-Ivy Trendwatch days of the “Take Ivy” book release and the MFIT exhibit — Ivy-Style.com achieved record traffic numbers for the month of January. What caused it? The four consecutive posts within 36 hours about the new/old Brooks Brothers oxford, authored by myself, Bruce


Rebirth Of The Cool

PowerHouse Books, publishers of “Take Ivy,” are getting ready to release 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


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.


Just Press Play: Christian’s Ivy Heyday Playlist

  I’m going to start the week out by playing DJ. Below is a playlist with 50 tunes spanning the years 1954-1967. This is not a historic survey, but instead a far more personal selection. In general, these are songs I’ve been listening to for a long time. A couple are from my parents’ record


Ornette Coleman, 1930-2015

Jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman has died at the age of 85. Here is the Wall Street Journal’s coverage. I don’t know what the guys are wearing in this photo, but for me it’s always been the epitome of ’50s-“Talented Mr. Ripley” suited-up blacks-and-whites making music together jazz cool. — CC


Miles Ago

Today would have been the 89th birthday of Miles Davis, the jazz legend who briefly got hip to the Ivy League Look at none other than The Andover Shop in Harvard Square. It was seven years ago, while telling that story for Ralph Lauren Magazine, that I got fascinated by the social and sartorial history


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Take Five

Take a five minute break and listen to some music. Actually, you’ll need more like 15. Last night ABC’s “World News Tonight” reported on a new documentary on the plight of music in Pakistan. An important topic to be sure, but what does that have to do with us here? The story recounts a 1962


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The Ivy Style Christmas Mix

For this Christmas, Ivy Style founder Christian Chensvold and contributor/comment leaver Daniel C. Greenwood (“DCG”) are pleased to present a little holiday merry-making. We’d planned to just give you one tune, but ended up with four good takes, so consider this Christmas megamix the equivalent of a Joseph A. Bank sweater sale. Now the disclaimers:


Ethan Hawke’s Chet Biopic And Holiday Trumpet Fanfare

Last night on “The Jimmy Kimmel Show,” actor Ethan Hawke, whom Tradsville knows for his early role in “Dead Poets Society,” discussed his upcoming Chet Baker biopic. Unfortunately, as with the long-gestating Miles Davis project headed by Don Cheadle, the film will focus on the jazz musician’s later years, not the years when he would


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


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