Jazz fanatic and esteemed actor-director Clint Eastwood announced plans on Wednesday to executive produce a documentary on legendary pianist Dave Brubeck. Tentatively titled Dave Brubeck-In His Own Sweet Way, the film will be directed by Bruce Ricker, whose previous credits include The Last of the Blue Devils (a documentary on early Kansas City jazz) and Jim Hall: A Life in Progress; Ricker also produced Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser.
The documentary will trace the development of Brubeck’s latest work, Cannery Row Suite, from its initial commission by the Monterey Jazz Festival to its premiere there in 2006, interspersed by significant moments in Brubeck’s career, from his graduation at the University of the Pacific in 1942 and his earliest musical experiences on a Central California cattle ranch to the inception and success of the Dave Brubeck Quartet to his outspokenness against racial inequality.
In the official press release, Eastwood declared, “Dave Brubeck is an American legend. He is an American original who continues to make significant contributions to music, introduced a whole new generation to the world of jazz, and continues to explore the international language of music.”
In addition to producing the film, Eastwood stated that he will chair a new honorary board formed to preserve and continue the 86-year-old’s legacy, at the Brubeck Institute at Pacific in Stockton, Calif. Other members include trumpeter-composer Wynton Marsalis, vocalist Al Jarreau, producer Quincy Jones, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, filmmaker George Lucas, documentarian Ken Burns and trumpeter Herb Alpert. The board’s goal is to raise awareness of the Brubeck Institute and its namesake’s legacy.
Eastwood and Ricker are also working on a documentary about Tony Bennett titled The Music Never Ends.