Should the jazz community be thanking Playboy magazine, or should Playboy be thanking the classy cool of hundreds of jazz musicians?
Author Patty Farmer investigates that heady query in her new book,Playboy Swings: How Hugh Hefner and Playboy Changed the Face of Music. The book is available online and in book stores now.
For decades, Playboy and Hugh Hefner have been instrumental in promoting jazz with the Playboy Jazz clubs, Jazz Festival, Playboy-produced jazz recordings, television programs, and the wildly popular Playboy Jazz Poll.
What did Hugh Hefner get in return for his jazz investment? He was able to craft an aesthetic based on the look, feel, and lifestyle he recognized in his jazz heroes.
That symbiotic relationship is explored in meticulous depth in Patty Farmer’s almost encyclopedic recounting. Senior Arts Editor Mark Wigmore spoke to her from New York City.