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Playboy Honors Jason Moran

Playboy honored pianist Jason Moran with the magazine’s first-ever Jazz Artist of the Year, a new category in the magazine’s 48-year-old “Sex and Music” poll. The issue, which came out on Feb. 11, also honors 13 other music poll winners, including Usher, Velvet Revolver and Kanye West.

Moran was selected as the first recipient of the award based on his previous work and his “prominent position in the forefront of jazz’s future,” according to Playboy’s publicist. Playboy’s executive editor, Lee Froehlich, said in a press release, “Jason is young but he has a distinct sense of musical history. He also strives to move the musical form forward with a restless innovation… When people complained to Ken Burns about why he didn’t deal with the last 25 years of jazz history, he said it was because it was too soon to tell who would be the dukes and birds of the last quarter of the 20th century. We say Jason Moran will be.”

In its review of Moran’s album Same Mother, Playboy called it “a dazzling work of recombinant barrelhouse blues.”

Hugh Hefner’s company has always had an interest in jazz, which is reflected in their Playboy Jazz label (a partnership with Concord Records) and the annual Playboy Jazz Festival, which highlighted performances by Wynton Marsalis, Etta James and Savion Glover last year.

Originally Published