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Hugh Hefner Compiles Jazz Classics on Hef’s Favorites

America knows Hugh Hefner (pictured) loves women, smoking jackets, Jack Daniel’s and jazz. The Playboy mogul recently commemorated his 80th birthday with Hef’s Favorites, an assortment of jazz classics that Hefner calls the “music of my childhood.”

For Hefner, limiting the collection to 12 songs was “like limiting my favorite Playmates to twelve-possible, but daunting nonetheless,” according to the liner notes. The collection’s wide range shows the octogenarian’s genuine appreciation for jazz, in all its forms.

Released on the Playboy Jazz Label, Hef’s Favorites reflects Hefner’s fondness for legends like Chet Baker, classy, soulful singers like Tony Bennett and complex, layered instrumentals. And it comes as no surprise that Hef’s Favorites also includes a variety of female singers like June Christy, Dinah Washington and Keely Smith-what would a Playboy be without his women?

Hef’s Favorites also includes guitarist and bossa nova star Charles Byrd, the swinging Johnny Mercer and even a ballad from Jackie Gleason, of syndicated Honeymooners fame. Byrd’s “Corcovado” is slow and steady, a calming mix of saxophone and guitar, while Mercer’s work is as syrupy sweet as the “Candy” title. And surprisingly, Gleason’s conducting on “Alone Together” beautifully complements Bobby Hackett’s almost mournful trumpet.

With this release, Hefner can add musical connoisseur to his resume of publisher and ladies man. Hopefully, Playboy fans everywhere can follow his lead and get a little educated about these jazz classics.

Originally Published