With each passing decade, Dave Brubeck continues to amaze millions of fans across the globe. His quartet performed more than 50 concerts in 2010, and Brubeck still creates new composi¬tions. On Monday, Dec. 6, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will celebrate Brubeck’s 90th birthday with the premiere of Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way, a new documentary executive-produced by Clint Eastwood.
The documentary takes its name from one of Brubeck’s most famous tunes, “In Your Own Sweet Way.” Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way was produced and directed by filmmaker and longtime Eastwood collaborator Bruce Ricker, whose credits include Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends, Thelonious Monk: Straight No Chaser, The Last of the Blue Devils and TCM’s Emmy®-nominated Johnny Mercer: The Dream’s On Me. Alec Baldwin is the narrator. In addition to serving as executive producer of the film, Eastwood chairs the Honorary Board of the Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif.
Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way tells Brubeck’s personal story, including his early musical training; studies with Darius Milhaud, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, featuring Paul Desmond; and the musical revolution caused by his introduction of new time signatures in jazz, such as in the jazz standard Take Five.
Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way features contemporary interviews, including George Lucas, Sting, Bill Cosby, Jamie Cullum, David Benoit and Yo-Yo Ma. Also included are previously unseen archival footage and photographs; vintage performances from the Newport Jazz Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival; and a never-before-seen interview with Dave Brubeck and Walter Cronkite. Finally, here are also interviews filmed for the documentary with Dave and Iola Brubeck, that captures their longtime romance and artistic collaboration,
TCM’s premiere of Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way will be accompanied by All Night Long (1962), a jazz update of Shakespeare’s Othello featuring a great Brubeck performance. The Brubeck celebration will be preceded by a quartet of jazz films: Blues in the Night (1941), Paris Blues (1961), Young Man with a Horn (1950) and The Strip (1950).
In advance of Brubeck’s birthday, Legacy Recordings will release Dave Brubeck: Legacy of a Legend, a new 21-track double-CD compilation with every track handpicked by Brubeck. The commemorative collection, featuring extensive annotation and anecdotal liner notes written by his son Darius, will be available at all physical and digital retail outlets beginning Nov. 16 through Columbia/Legacy, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.
Also in celebration of Brubeck’s 90th birthday, Concord Music Group will release The Definitive Dave Brubeck on Fantasy, Concord Jazz and Telarc. This ambitious two-disc collection assembles some of Brubeck’s earliest session work from the 1940s as well as some of his more recent recordings from the past few decades. The CD is also set for release Nov. 16, 2010. The collection’s comprehensive track list was handpicked by Russell Gloyd, Brubeck’s manager, producer and conductor for more than 30 years.
The following is the complete schedule of TCM’s special Monday, Dec. 6, lineup (all times Eastern):
Jazz Film Classics
7:30 a.m. Blues in the Night (1941) – Priscilla Lane and Richard Whorf headline this musical drama about a self-destructive bandleader. Elia Kazan plays a clarinetist. The film, which features memorable Warner Bros. montages, also stars Betty Field, Jack Carson and Lloyd Nolan.
9:30 a.m. The Gene Krupa Story (1959) – Sal Mineo plays the legendary jazz drummer who struggled with numerous ups and downs, including addiction. Susan Kohner co-stars, with jazz great Anita O’Day and comedian Buddy Lester playing themselves.
11:30 a.m. Young Man with a Horn (1950) – Kirk Douglas plays a trumpeter trapped in a triangle with good girl Doris Day and bad girl Lauren Bacall. This compelling drama is based on Dorothy Baker’s book, which itself was inspired by the life of Bix Beiderbecke. Harry James dubbed the trumpet work for Douglas.
1:30 p.m. The Strip (1951) – Mickey Rooney stars in this jazz-infused story about a drummer whose dreams of opening his own nighclub get derailed when he becomes involved with a gangster and gets accused of murder. Great performances by Louis Armstrong, Vic Damone and others highlight this intriguing drama.
Dave Brubeck’s 90th Birthday
3:15 p.m. All Night Long (1962) – William Shakespeare’s Othello gets the jazz treatment with this swinging film about an interracial romance and the man determined to destroy it. Patrick McGoohan is especially good in the Iago-inspired role. The cast includes Betsy Blair, Marti Stevens, Keith Michell and Richard Attenborough. Several jazz artists appear in the film, including Dave Brubeck, Charlie Mingus and John Dankworth.
5 p.m. PREMIERE: Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way (2010)
(Source: Turner Classic Movies)