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 of being rediscovered. The book is full of geek-chic guys in conservative suits, glasses and haircuts playing hip and intellectual music. So let’s rediscover these images once again, along with the spirit of cool. You also might try listening to some jazz today. It’ll put a spring in your step — or rather a swing. 





All images courtesy of powerHouse Books.

14 Comments on "Rebirth Of The Cool"

  1. Worried Man | October 8, 2015 at 9:04 am |

    Excellent stuff.

  2. Scary_Cooper | November 23, 2020 at 8:02 am |

    What is “THE Cool”? Why not just “Rebirth of Cool”?

    Only old people talk like that. They use the article “the” when talking about technology, as in “THE Facebook”, “THE Twitter” and “THE Amazon”.

  3. Might have something to do with Miles Davis…..

  4. Scary_Cooper | November 23, 2020 at 9:00 am |

    Thanks, Mr. C.

    Listening to jazz today is the perfect antidote to the dreary, rainy Fall weather here in the Northeast.

  5. Scary
    “THE” is used as self-deprecation by those of who’ve had more birthday cake than you. It’s the Twitter just as we say the TV. Though perhaps said too often, it’s a little show of humility lost on those unfamiliar with the concept.

  6. The Cool School, kinda’ like the New Viennese School, only different.

  7. Old School Tie | November 23, 2020 at 10:32 am |

    The Internet. The idiot over there. QED.

  8. Check out William Claxton’s work/books of the same ilk. Lotsa Chet, Miles, etc……

  9. I was browsing in Labyrinth Books in Princeton yesterday when Coltrane’s brilliant version of “My Favorite Things” came on the store’s sound system. That made my day. By the way, doesn’t scary-cooper know that “Birth of the (THE) Cool” is the title of Miles Davis’ groundbreaking 1957 album? I suspect not. Does he even know who Miles Davis was?

  10. When I was in College in the early 60s during holiday breaks
    we would go to the Half Note, the Five Spot, and Basin Street East
    to hear Monk, Davis, Errol Garner, Jerry Mulligan,etc. We even caught
    Woody Allen doing stand-up at one of these venues. I also attended
    the 1960 Newport Jazz Festival (and riot). Later, I became a devotee
    of Baroque Music, which I remain.

  11. Charlottesville | November 24, 2020 at 10:30 am |

    I just noticed the next to the last pic above. I had never realized that Henry Kissinger played the drums when he was a youngster.

  12. I think he still plays a few gigs here and there with a society band. Weddings, divorces, bar mitzvahs, The Débutantes Ball, etc., but due to the Covid, it’s slowed down a lot.

  13. Currently enjoying some online jazz saxophone as I wrap up some email and so forth before signing off work-related things for the much needed long weekend. Tan cords, a red flannel shirt (tucked in), and chocolate suede camp mocs are not quite as dapper as the musicians pictured above however. If it’s not jumping the gun too much, Happy Thanksgiving gents!

    Best Regards,


  14. The Henry Contestwinner | December 2, 2020 at 7:57 pm |

    Looks like the Scary_Cooper doesn’t like the old folks and the way we talk about the things. Guess I’ll listen to the jazz on the Victrola—I think it’s on after the Fibber McGee.

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