Jazz

Happy Birth Day-O: Harry Belafonte Turns 90

Happy Birthday to singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte, who turns 90 today. Below you can check out an early recording he made with the Zoot Sims Quintet below. It features Roy Haynes on drums. Haynes was one of the jazz musicians who got hip to Ivy in the mid-’50s, and I interviewed him in


The Christmas Playlist

Since I like to doodle at the piano and believe this to be the most wonderful time of the year, I break out the Christmas sheet music the day after Thanksgiving so I can enjoy a whole month of playing yuletide hymns. Of course the retailers start earlier and earlier, but decorations and music are


Season’s Greetings From Chet

To make sure you’re in the proper Christmas spirit, here’s Chet Baker and the Lighthouse All Stars doing “Winter Wonderland” from 1953. Chet cut one Christmas album, “Silent Nights,” in 1986. He declined to include, however, the Christmas tune that would have best suited him: “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.”


Singing The Blues

Many of you are probably feeling blue today, even if you’re not in a blue state. So here’s a little tune called “Harvard Blues,” which was written by a young student named George Frazier, who would go on to become Esquire’s style critic and best pal of Charlie Davidson of The Andover Shop. The song


Graham Marsh x Jim Marshall’s Jazz Festival + Kamakura Shirts

Last week Kamakura Shirts used its Madison Avenue location for a soiree book signing for Graham Marsh. Marsh, an author, designer and illustrator, is one of the biggest names in the UK Ivy community. He has also collaborated with Kamakura on a line of vintage Ivy shirts. The party was in celebration of a new


CC For Gentleman’s Journal On The Art Of The Slow Dance

Update: 12:26 PM EST I’ve just been informed that the story at The Gentleman’s Journal linked below is not loading. My apologies and I’ve informed my editor to investigate the broken link. Update: 12:49 Link should be working. * * * I’ve recently begun writing for The Gentleman’s Journal, a London-based luxury magazine with close



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,


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


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


No Picture

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


No Picture

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:


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