Blue Note Records

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Image by Gabi Porter

Don Was is one of our heroes, a triple O.G. in the music biz who doesn’t believe his own hype and never stopped being a fan. He’s still blown away by all the new styles in the world, and despite making classics has steered admirably clear of the mindset that “it was all so much better when…”

Now president of Blue Note Recordsthe American jazz label with the musically revolutionary back catalog (think Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk) not to mention peerless and influential graphic design by Reid Miles, whose name is one of the freshest Google image searches you’ll ever do–Don Was is basically the keeper of the cool

A fan’s dream.

Keep reading to learn which Blue Note albums he considers unheralded classics and which basketball positions each Rolling Stones member would play. 

Check this audio clip about Blue Note in the big picture:

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Images by Manuela Insixiengmay

We’re big Robert Glasper fans here at Nordstrom, Glasper being the Grammy-winning musician doing the most–the most, we tell you–to keep the sound of jazz piano fresh, relevant and connected to the youth.

He’s all over the rap album of the year, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly. And further indicating his breadth, Glasper’s upcoming album on Blue Note Records, Covered, includes live versions of songs by Miles Davis, Jhené Aiko and Radiohead.

Glasper is not Kanye-famous, though Yeezy has joined Glasper on stage to kick some freestyle raps. Nor is he trying to be. We caught up with him while the 37-year-old artist was taking the biggest year in his career in stride, touring, being excellent.

Keep scrolling to read Glasper’s thoughts on where an uninitiated person should start with Miles’ albums, the courageousness of Kendrick Lamar, his top five emcees–and listen to him extemporaneously rap Tupac’s verse from Digital Underground’s “All Around the World.”

Shop: leather jackets

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As part of our fall 2014 Men’s Shop Catalog, we profiled 4 real men of style and substance. Here, Blue Note recording artist Robert Glasper.

Whenever we interview a world-class chef, a pro BMX rider—or, in this case, a Grammy-winning jazz composer who works alongside the best musicians in the business—our goal is not to offer you life hacks to follow in their exact career path. Instead, we aim to inspire you with a glimpse inside the mind of a guy who’s at the top of his game—and to discover and share wisdom of a more universal nature.

In chatting with multifaceted jazz man Robert Glasper, we found out a thing or two about conquering writer’s block, learning from your dislikes, and documenting ideas even at inopportune moments. Keep reading for the full Q&A, and to hear our favorite examples of Glasper in action.

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