[Note: this blog was first published on May 21, 2011] "Bruce Ricker, a lawyer turned filmmaker who made jazz resoundingly visible in a series of highly regarded documentaries, died on Friday in Cambridge, Mass. He was 68..."
There are so many places I could have placed this news on the internet. Bruce was Clint Eastwood's advisor on his film music, created some amazing documentaries on film and jazz, and was the founder of Rhapsody Films, a wonderful company dedicated to bringing out films on jazz. He really had an incredible knack for finding rare films in this genre and bringing them out. And for knowing where the best jazz was in town on any given night.
Beyond the obituary I've linked to above, he was also a great friend to many in the industry whom he helped without ever asking anything in return. When Amy and I started Milestone, he did the incorporation papers and refused any payment. Everybody I know in New York has a Bruce Ricker story.
I first met him early on when he walked into the door of Kino one day (he and Don Krim were longtime friends) and I was THRILLED to meet the director of The Last of the Blue Devils, one of my favorite films. Naturally, we became friendly and later on, when I helped him with a loan of a video, he came to the office one day and presented me a poster of BIRD autographed to me by Clint Eastwood. I thanked him and said that I would be just as happy to have a poster of one of his films signed by Bruce. And yes, I did get a signed poster of one of his films a few days later. :-)