Finally I managed to catch up with the long-awaited Dave Brubeck documentary, In His Own Sweet Way, now available on BBC iPlayer (online streaming in the UK). My curiosity wasn't just about Brubeck, whose music has had a part in my life, but also I was eager to see director Bruce Ricker's last film, who made the landmark jazz film The Last of the Blue Devils (1979) about the legendary travelling band of the 1930s, featuring Count Basie, Big Joe Turner and Jo Jones.
Bruce Ricker died in May 2011, two months after Brubeck’s great drummer and collaborator Joe Morello left us. Brubeck passed away recently, after a prosperous and amazingly productive and inspiring life. The only living member of the classic quartet is Eugene Wright whose powerful and subtle rhythmic support is the most overlooked, whenever the subject is Brubeck’s music.