Veteran documentarian John Scheinfeld (The U.S. vs. John Lennon) explores the life and work of jazz legend John Coltrane, with commentary and appreciations from such diverse Trane devotees as Denzel Washington, Carlos Santana, Common, Cornell West and Bill Clinton.
Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary
In Chasing Trane, veteran documentarian John Scheinfeld (last at the Festival with The U.S. vs. John Lennon) explores the life and work of this singular artist. From his childhood in the Jim Crow South to his hallowed tenure with Miles Davis — which pushed Coltrane to conquer his heroin addiction — to his triumphant run as leader of one of jazz's most fiery and revered quartets, Chasing Trane digs deep, chronicling a story of harrowing lows and interstellar highs.
Scheinfeld makes inspired use of archival materials, animated murals, readings of Coltrane's own words by Denzel Washington, and a wealth of new interviews. The list is catnip for music lovers: jazz elder statesmen Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, and Reggie Workman; rock legends Carlos Santana and John Densmore; and younger artists such as Common and Kamasi Washington, whose work renews the spirit of Coltrane for a new generation. Scheinfeld also speaks with critics Ben Ratliff and Ashley Kahn, philosopher Cornel West, and former US president Bill Clinton. Their testimonies are tremendously articulate but even so, there are moments when they fall speechless, reminding us that such powerful music touches something in us that is beyond words.