On November 17, respected filmmaker John Scheinfeld's acclaimed feature documentary film, Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary, will be released by UMe on DVD and Blu-ray with exclusive bonus features. On the same date, Verve/UMe will release the film's vital audio companion — Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary Original Soundtrack — on CD, 180-gram 2-LP vinyl, and digital audio. Set against the social, political and cultural landscape of the time, Chasing Trane brings saxophone great John Coltrane to life, as a man and an artist. The film is the definitive look at the boundary-shattering musician and composer whose influence continues to resonate around the world.
Written and directed by John Scheinfeld [The U.S. vs. John Lennon; Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?)], Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary is a rich and compelling portrait of a remarkable artist that reveals the critical events, passions, experiences and challenges that shaped the life of John Coltrane and his revolutionary sounds. The captivating film is produced by Spencer Proffer, John Beug, Scott Pascucci, and Dave Harding, with the support of the Coltrane family and the record labels that collectively manage the Coltrane catalog. Chasing Trane's DVD and Blu-ray packages include a booklet with an essay by Scheinfeld and rare photos seen in the film. The soundtrack's booklet also includes rare photos from the film and an essay by journalist and film participant Ashley Kahn.
Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary features never-before-seen Coltrane family home movies, footage of Coltrane and his band in the studio (discovered in a California garage during production of the film), along with hundreds of never-before-seen photographs and rare television appearances from around the world. The smart, passionate, thought-provoking and uplifting film reveals the critical events, passions, experience, and challenges that shaped Coltrane's life and his revolutionary sounds. It is a story of demons and darkness, of persistence and redemption. Above all, it is the incredible spiritual journey of a man who found himself and, in the process, created an extraordinary, iconic body of work that transcends all barriers of geography, race, religion and age.
"A music titan gets his cinematic due in Chasing Trane, a comprehensive, engrossing and, it's tempting to say, worshipful account of the life of John Coltrane..." - Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
John Coltrane's incredible story is told by the musicians who worked with him (Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath, Reggie Workman), musicians inspired by his fearless artistry and creative vision (Common, The Doors' John Densmore, Wynton Marsalis, Carlos Santana, Wayne Shorter, Kamasi Washington), Coltrane's children and biographers, and well-known admirers including President Bill Clinton and Dr. Cornel West. Although Coltrane did not participate in any television interviews and he recorded only a handful of radio interviews during his lifetime, he is an active and vibrant presence throughout the film, in his remarkable performance clips and in thoughts he expressed during print interviews. In Chasing Trane, the words of John Coltrane are spoken by Denzel Washington.
"In many of his roles Denzel radiates an exceptional quiet strength," says the film's director-writer John Scheinfeld. "Coltrane, many of his friends told me, embodied a similar strength. That's why Denzel was my first choice to speak his words and I'm thrilled he made the time to participate in our film."
After playing to critical and audience acclaim at its fall 2016 world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival and at the Toronto International Film Festival, IDFA and DOC NYC, Chasing Trane's spring 2017 theatrical release was presented by Abramorama.
Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary will make its television broadcast premiere on Independent Lens on Monday, November 6, 10:00-11:30 PM ET (check local listings) on PBS. During the month prior to the broadcast, Indie Lens Pop-Up, presented by ITVS, Independent Lens, and local partners across the country, will host free preview screenings and discussion events for the film in dozens of U.S. cities.
For more information, visit www.pbs.org/independentlens/films/chasing-trane.
On Friday, November 17, the same day the 'Chasing Trane' home video and companion soundtrack album will be released, the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles will open a sweeping new John Coltrane exhibit, titled Chasing Trane: Coltrane's Musical Journey Transcended. The long-term exhibit, featuring rare performance footage and audio recordings from Coltrane's Japanese tour in 1966, handwritten manuscripts, instruments, and more, will be a primary installation at the museum through September 2018.
Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary and Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary Original Soundtrack are essential for anyone who appreciates the power of music to entertain, inspire, and transform. The producers of the film were, themselves, moved by this force, collectively stating, "We entered into this project with great respect for John Coltrane and his music. Our deep appreciation for both only increased during the production of the film, as we witnessed the profound impact that his music still has on so many people -- a breadth of audience that defies any simple categorization."