53 Comments on "Jazz On Campus Album Covers"

  1. Anyone think they can identify the car in the third photo? MG tc, maybe? Is Porsche Ivy?

  2. @Tabor Kid
    It may be a Jaguar XK120.

  3. It most definitely is not an MG TC.

  4. @Tabor Kid

    Porsche’s “Ivy” in England:


  5. Austin Healey MK or a Jag

  6. RLN is correct; the car is indeed a Jaguar XK120. Interestingly, it is the comparatively rare Drophead Coupé variant rather than the more common Roadster.

  7. Richard Meyer | April 22, 2013 at 5:15 pm |

    Those were the days, my friend!

  8. You’re right, I think it is a Jaguar. I stumbled upon an Austin Healey/Old Jaguar rally in Park City last year. That’s softcore auto porn for you anglophiles out there.

  9. Let’s not forget albums by Wilbur de Paris, from Ivy dixieland’s throne at Jimmy Ryan’s and New Orleans goes to Princeton and Hanover via Stan Rubin’s Tigertown Five and Larry Elliot’s Dartmouth Indian Chiefs.

  10. I sincerely wish I “got” jazz. It’s similar to poetry as I know that there is something good there, I just can’t feel it. It doesn’t move me. I think that it’s over my head. I did however enjoy the Ken Burns Jazz Doc.

  11. Dutch Uncle | April 23, 2013 at 5:27 am |

    I was at college in the 50s.
    Jazz was for beatnıks.

  12. For Squeeze and Henry:

    Classic Jazz in the Ivy Leagues radio, put up for just two weeks at our request:


    From the transcription of the intro:

    A music revival swept through Ivy League colleges in the 1950s, and it wasn’t the new rhythms of rock ’n’ roll that turned kids on. It was classic jazz of the 1920s. You wouldn’t find jazz taught as a college course, as it is today, but the sound of hot jazz from the 1920s was the preferred ‘party music’ for many college students.

    Fraternities imported top talent like Sidney Bechet and Eddie Condon from New York for their functions. And on holidays, Ivy League campuses emptied out and re-adjourned in jazz clubs along 52nd Street and in the Village.

    The dress code was chinos, argyle socks and penny loafers, or Harris tweed blazers and button-downs. Whether your school actually belonged to the Ivy League or not, everyone wanted to dress ‘Ivy League.’

  13. @Dutch Uncle

    Jazz wasn’t entirely for beatniks in the 1950s. When I was at prep school in the early ’50s, it represented rebellion and, more importantly, was something our parents didn’t like. Although none of us had ever been to Greenwich Village, we knew it was the place to go for jazz. It seemed a veritable Land of Oz.

    In the late 1950s, when I was at college, we’d go down to the Village for jazz as many weekends as we could. We’d dress exactly as Christian notes above, because, except for formal wear, those were the only clothes we had! Those were the days!!!

  14. Oxford Cloth Button Down,

    True art and beauty can be appreciated with little or no introduction or background. Rembrandt and Bach, for example, can be enjoyed by anyone, but you have to be “educated” to get Pollack (etc.) or a lot of modern jazz.

    Poetry is a little more challenging, in that you have to know the vocabulary (which is part of why Shakespeare is challenging for us). However, once you have that, the beauty is accessible. Again, in contrast, you have to be “educated” to get Ginsberg and his ilk.

    So don’t worry if you don’t get jazz, as long as you do get classical music.

  15. OCBD: I think you could “get” Jazz if you start with some works conducive to enjoyment by the uninitiated. As a teen, I was inducted by the very accessible “Giant Steps” album by John Coltrane even though the “A Love Supreme” album was way too over my head.

    Henry: I think Jazz is best understood as a great example of music that does not require prerequisite knowledge; like Beethoven it makes mainly emotional appeals to its audience.

    Best regards, Gentlemen.

  16. See “Ode to a Grecian Urn”

  17. Christian,

    I see your German experimental composer and raise you one American musician of Norwegian & Cuban ancestry (start at 5:31), one American composer and musician of Italian ancestry, and one French freakshow.


    There’s jazz, and then there’s jazz. I admit that there is accessible, appealing jazz, but a lot of the experimental stuff, including lots that is critically acclaimed, is just noise.

    To my educated ears, at least.

  18. Crumb. Flubbed the second link. Here it is.

  19. Straight Arrow | April 24, 2013 at 8:45 pm |

    Shakespeare on jazz:

    “a din to fright a monster’s ear”

    The Tempest, Act 2, Scene 1

  20. The traditions of clothes that lead to Ivy aren’t that much older than jazz. If you dress Ivy or Trad or what have you, you’re respecting traditions that stretch back to perhaps 1910. Sure, some jazz is very iconoclastic, but if you’re going to object to the way it “rebels against traditional forms” (as Labrador does), then shouldn’t you be in knee breeches and court shoes?

    For what it’s worth, I’m not particularly into jazz, but I listen to it, which means I probably listen to more jazz than anybody else I know who doesn’t play it. My college has a fair number of free shows I can attend, so that’s helped.

  21. Jazz didn’t “rebel” against tradition till WWII, prior it was danceable and more blues based. I’m no expert, but there are as many variations of jazz as rock.

  22. James Redhouse | April 25, 2013 at 9:48 am |

    I am amazed by the pretended ignorance or denial on the part of those commenters who, for some reason, skip over the Black origin of jazz. All Black music is protest music, my friends.

  23. The origins are Southern blues

  24. Miles Away | April 25, 2013 at 6:17 pm |

    I think what many overseas Ivy enthusiasts need to understand is that jazz has become a rather niche music genre in America. Some small number of Americans are really deep into it while the rest know relatively little about it.
    I’m in my 40’s and remember seeing jazz albums in my parents’ collection. But by the time I was a kid in the 70’s, they were no longer listening to them. I can’t say that I’ve had anyone close to me who was an enthusiast.

  25. “Comment by Dutch Uncle — April 23, 2013 @ 5:27 am
    I was at college in the 50s.
    Jazz was for beatnıks”.

    ALL Jazzor only a particular type of jazz?
    Cole Porter or George Gershwin are beatniks?
    When Fred Astaire sing and dance “putting on the Ritz” is a nasty rebel?
    This is subversive?

  26. Miles Away | April 25, 2013 at 7:00 pm |

    To the English, Ivy is just another one of their youth cults. As it is with being a Mod or a Skinhead, one into Ivy must favor the correct kind of music lest they be shunned!

  27. Dutch Uncle | April 25, 2013 at 8:32 pm |


    Nobody at the time associated Porter, Gershwin, or Astaire with jazz. That was the mainstream pop music of the time.

    Jazz was and is rebellion against formal musical conventions; Ivy style was and is the perpetuation of convention.

  28. Innovation is not necessarily rebellion.

  29. Charlie Parker would be shocked to learn Gershwin didn’t write jazz.


  30. This for Christian, The Bird & Chet


  31. Dutch Uncle | April 26, 2013 at 2:40 am |



    Gershwin did not write jazz.
    This is Charlie Parker’s jazz rendition of a Gershwin melody.

    Those of us who like Gershwin would prefer to think of this as a distortion of the original.

  32. Porgy and bess, from wikipedia

    “The song “Summertime” is the best-known selection from Porgy and Bess. Other popular and frequently recorded songs from the opera include “It Ain’t Necessarily So”, “Bess, You Is My Woman Now”, “I Loves You Porgy” and “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin'”. The opera is admired for Gershwin’s innovative synthesis of European orchestral techniques with American jazz and folk music idioms.”

    “The music itself reflects his (Gershwin’s) New York jazz roots, but also draws on southern black traditions. Gershwin modeled the pieces after each type of folk song which the composer knew about; jubilees, blues, praying songs, street cries, work songs, and spirituals are blended with traditional arias and recitatives.[35]”

  33. Dutch Uncle | April 26, 2013 at 6:38 am |


    The song “Summertime” was first revorded by Gershwin himself playing the piano, with full orchestra. It was later converted into a jazz standard by other performers.

  34. Comment by Dutch Uncle
    “Nobody at the time associated Porter, Gershwin, or Astaire with jazz. That was the mainstream pop music of the time”.

    But Porter, Gershwin, and Astaire (and Sinatra,Ella Fitzgerald,Mel Tormè,Nat King Cole,and many others) ARE jazz.
    One of best jazz album of early 50s is the Fred Astaire’s”The Astaire story” a four-volume album with a quintet led by Oscar Peterson. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Astaire_Story

    Mainstram music at time WAS jazz (a part doo woop groups and latina music like Mambo and Cha Cha).

  35. Grey Flannels | April 26, 2013 at 7:06 am |

    The orchestral version, performed as it was in the Gershwin recording. This is most certainly not jazz.


  36. I think that Dutch Uncle mean that after WW-II some type of jazz music,like “Bebop” and “Cool jazz” were considered by straight people in 50s “music for beatniks.
    Ma Jazz music is more of Bebop and Cool.
    Are several genres under the label “jazz”.

  37. None denies this.
    But the life is strange:
    You start to react to cruelty and oppression ,
    and end in dinner jacket to dance with Barbara Hutton at Stork Club.

  38. Sometimes, Carmelo, your broken English produces profoundly poetic pronouncements:

    But life is strange:

    You start by reacting

    to oppression and cruelty

    and end up

    in a dinner jacket

    dancing with Barbara Hutton

    at the Stork Club.

  39. A.E.W. Mason | April 26, 2013 at 6:50 pm |

    It would be nice if the origins of jazz were easily pegged but they’re not. I was not the only pianist/composer at Juilliard (no kidding, 33 years ago, my first career) who thought that—and I’m not kidding—Beethoven had first planted the seeds of jazz rhythms and harmonies in Sonata No. 32, Opus 111, the second movement. If you don’t know it, listen to what happens about a third of way into that movement. Also, listen to jazz material in certain Debussy Preludes and Etudes. The first Etude in C major is a good example but not even the best.

    As for “American jazz proper,” it’s hard to say that it’s one thing or comes from one place. The question is best put to a musicologist but here are some random ideas. There is some jazz which undoubtedly has it’s origins in black music. But it gets very difficult to assign a single progenitor when you start asking questions like what separates a Gershwin tune from “serious” jazz. (If you think Gershwin didn’t think he was writing jazz, listen to his Three Preludes.) What we think of today as old pop tunes—think of Jimmy Van Heusen—really take their harmonic structure from more traditional classical music. However, put a simple song like “Young and Foolish” in the hands of Bill Evans with Tony Bennett singing, and I’d argue that’s jazz, and high art in the bargain. Evans’s chromatic treatment of the chord progressions and his voice leading is genius. An old girlfriend from Juilliard who is now a professor of piano at U of A pointed out that Evans’s prowess as an accompanist (which she is) will rival anyone. For me, Erroll Garner is the pianist of choice. But, it’s just a matter of taste. Again, I was a pianist and composer, not a musicologist, so I’m sure there are those who would disagree with me.

    As for CC’s nod to Karlheinz Stockhausen and someone’s mention of modern jazz and the need to be “educated” in order to appreciate, that’s another question entirely. And that subject get’s really ugly.

  40. So Jazz is like obscenity, hard to define, but you know it when you see it.

  41. Main Line Philly | April 27, 2013 at 12:45 am |

    I am so glad that we have moved on from jazz, thanks to Mr. Press’s latest post. Let’s hope that Christian doesn’t do a post on football–another thing that some folks thing is related to Ivy style 🙁

  42. @Main Line Philly

    Mr. Press may have saved us from jazz, but not from football:

    “Together with all my schoolmates we attended every Eli sporting event and some of us sold football programs at the Yale Bowl.”

  43. The Ivy League gave America football.

  44. @MAC


  45. Lemuel
    I biased, it help me spend spend my money on clothing rather than tuition.

  46. I’ll also blame my bad spelling on it, must be the CTE, instead of laziness. That should read “I’m biased”. 😉

  47. I was at college from 1959-1962 and remember beatniks who dressed in black, smoked Gauloises and listened to jazz. The rest of us listened to authentic and popularized American folk music. Those album cover illustrations look like Hollywood’s idea of campus life, not like anything I experienced.

  48. What is that car? Definitely not a Jag.

  49. Minimalist Trad | May 28, 2021 at 12:05 am |

    Am I mistaken or is “Carmelo”‘s English edited to be “broken” so that it sounds like the English of a non-native speaker of English? Sometimes the editing is sloppy and perfectly-formed English sentences are left untouched.

  50. Thank you for all of the wonderful Jazz album covers. I will look them up on Spotify and listen to all of them. What an excellent time it was to be alive 1950-1965.

  51. @ minimalist trad.
    Carmelo is Italian. We’ll known poster in the Ivy Online boom years.

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