Blue Note Records has announced the appointment of producer Don Was as its chief creative officer. According to reports, Was will be responsible for signing and developing artists for the venerable label, which has expanded beyond its jazz base in recent years to pursue more pop-oriented artists. Was will work with Capitol and Virgin Labels Group president Dan McCarroll and Blue Note and Manhattan president Ian Ralfini.
Was (born Donald Fagenson) has been an in-demand producer since the 1980s, when he began his career as the bassist of the duo Was (Not Was). His productions have included recordings by such artists as Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson, Elton John and Ziggy Marley.
Blue Note’s current label roster includes Norah Jones, Amos Lee and Priscilla Ahn, as well as such jazz artists as Ambrose Akinmusire, Cassandra Wilson, Robert Glasper, Jason Moran and Lionel Loueke. The label was founded in 1939.