Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary

Chasing Trane

The John Coltrane Documentary

  • BY John Scheinfeld | IN Music
    Premiered November 6, 2017

About the Film

Season premiere! Set against the social, political and cultural landscape of the times, 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 whose influence continues to this day.  MORE

Chasing Trane features never-before-seen Coltrane family home movies, footage of Coltrane and his band in the studio (discovered in a California garage during the production of this film), along with hundreds of rare photographs and television appearances from around the world. 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, John Densmore, Wynton Marsalis, Carlos Santana, Wayne Shorter, Kamasi Washington), Coltrane’s children (Ravi, Oran, and step-daughters Michelle Coltrane and Antonia Andrews) and biographers, and well-known admirers such as President Bill Clinton and Dr. Cornel West.

Chasing Trane reveals the critical events, passions, experiences, 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 body of work that transcends all barriers of geography, race, religion, and age. And naturally, the film is imbued throughout with Coltrane's remarkable music.

Although Coltrane never did any television interviews (and only a handful for radio) during his lifetime, he has an active and vibrant presence in the film through thoughts he expressed during print interviews. These words—spoken by Academy Award winner Denzel Washington—illuminate what John Coltrane may have been thinking or feeling at critical moments throughout his life and career.

The Filmmaker

John Scheinfeld is an Emmy®, Grammy® and Writers Guild Award nominee and writer/director/producer of documentaries for theatrical and television distribution. His films have premiered at Telluride, Toronto, Venice and IDFA and include The U.S. vs. John Lennon, Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him), We Believe, and Dick Cavett's Watergate. In addition, Scheinfeld has written pilot scripts for drama series for ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. He is a graduate of Oberlin College and received his MFA from Northwestern University. LESS

Film Credits

Written and Directed by
John Scheinfeld

Produced by
Spencer Proffer

Produced by
John Beug

Produced by
Scott Pascucci

Produced by
Dave Harding

Edited and Co-Produced by
Peter S. Lynch, II

Executive Producers
Mark Pinkus
Bruce Resnikoff
Sig Sigworth

Music by
John Coltrane

Antonia Andrews
President Bill Clinton
Michelle Coltrane
Oran Coltrane
Ravi Coltrane
John Densmore
Yasuhiro "Fuji" Fujioka
Osaharu Fukushima
Benny Golson
Jimmy Heath
Ashley Kahn
Wynton Marsalis
Lewis Porter
Ben Ratliff
Sonny Rollins
Carlos Santana
Wayne Shorter
McCoy Tyner
Kamasi Washington
Dr. Cornel West
Reggie Workman

The words of John Coltrane spoken by Denzel Washington.

The words are from interviews and liner notes published between 1957 and 1967.

Director Of Photography
Stan Taylor

Story Producer
Kiku Lani Iwata

Associate Producer
Kathleen Ermitage

Archival Research
Eric Kulberg

Casting Consultant
Victoria Thomas

Main Title, Motion Graphics, and
Additional Visual Effects
Douglas Martin

Graphic Design And Visual Effects
Fred Salkind, Doug Lebow, David Rogers

Photo Restoration
Patrick Martin

Shane Ross

Re-Recording Mixer
Marcus Pardo

Music Clearance
Jonathan Altman

Collection Account Management
Fintage Cam B.V.

Archival Materials Provided by
Patricia Ali
Antonia Andrews
Kazuo Arai, Courtesy of Toshio Takabayashi
Takashi Arihara
Zaid Bettis
The Boston Globe
City of High Point Museum
The John Coltrane Estate
John Coltrane Music Manuscript
Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Michelle Coltrane
Ravi Coltrane (See Consultant Credit)
Critical Past
Art Davis, Courtesy Of Kimaili Davis
John Densmore
Frank Driggs Collection
Jazz at Lincoln Center
Dutch Jazz Archive Special Collections, University of Amsterdam
Esmond Edwards/CTSImages, Courtesy of Cynthia Sesso
Yasuhiro Fujioka
Steven Fulgoni
Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
Burt Goldblatt Estate Archives/CTSImages, Courtesy of Cynthia Sesso
Bill Goldstein
Guilford County Offices, Greensboro, NC
Rudy Gutierrez Courtesy of Gary Golio
Jimmy Heath
Hollywood Historic Photos
Don Hunstein, Sony Music Entertainment
INA-Institut National De L’audiovisuel
ITN Source
Mrs. Betty Lee Jackson & Jackie Whitaker
Jazz Hot Magazine
Mitsuo Johfu
Frank Kofsky Photographic Collection, University of California Santa Cruz
Photos From The Marvin Koner Archive/Corbis Images
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Judith Lyles Photo Collection
Library of Congress
Los Angeles Public Library
Magnum Photos-Dennis Stock
Bengt H. Malmqvist
Don Mcglynn
Akiyoshi Miyashita
Masahiro Mochida
Nagasaki Broadcasting Company
Tadayuki Naito
Hozumi Nakadaira
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
NBC Universal Archives
Talmadge Neece Family Collection
Osaka Museum of History
Bob Parent, Courtesy of Dale Parent
Jan Persson
The Philadelphia Inquirer
William “Popsie” Randolph, Courtesy of Michael Randolph
Reelin’ in the Years Productions LLC
Richmond County Register of Deeds, Rockingham, NC
Raymond Ross/ CTSimages, Courtesy of Cynthia Sesso
Norman Saks
Don Schlitten
Riccardo Schwamenthal/CTSimages, Courtesy of Cynthia Sesso
George Shuba
Herb Snitzer
Cuthbert Simpkins, M.D.
Gordon Spottswood
State Archives of Florida
Chuck Stewart, Courtesy of Fireball Entertainment Group
Universal Media, Inc.
Universal Tone, Inc.
Wazee Digital
Wea Studio Services
George Wein
Ted Williams/CTSimages, Courtesy of Cynthia Sesso
Val Wilmer/CTSimages, Courtesy of Cynthia Sesso
The Photography of Francis Wolff, Courtesy of Michael Cuscuna

Paintings by Rudy Gutierrez Appear Courtesy of the Children’s Book
“Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey”
By Gary Golio

Live at The Antibes Juan-les Pins Jazz Festival, July, 1965
Director: Jean-cristophe Averty
Ina-institut National De L’audiovisuel

Ravi Coltrane

Saturn ▪ Om ▪ Mars ▪ Transition ▪ Acknowledgement ▪ Naima ▪ Syeeda's Flute Song ▪ Vigil Slowtrane ▪ Cousin Mary ▪ Spiritual ▪ Central Park West ▪ Nita ▪ Big Nick ▪ Trane's Strain
The Drum Thing ▪ Straight Street ▪ Locomotion ▪ Untitled Original (Exotica) ▪ Giant Steps ▪
Impressions ▪ Pursuance ▪ Lonnie's Lament ▪ Tunji ▪ Chasin' The Trane ▪ Alabama ▪
Up 'gainst The Wall ▪ Resolution ▪ Ascension (Ed. Ii) ▪ Meditations/leo ▪ Welcome ▪ Crescent ▪ Peace On Earth ▪ Olé ▪ Dahomey Dance ▪ After The Rain ▪ Moment's Notice ▪ Blue Train

Written by John Coltrane
Jowcol Music (BMA)/Licensed Courtesy of Jowcol Music

Russian Lullaby
Written by Irving Berlin
Published By Irving Berlin Music Company (ASCAP)

Trane's Blues
Written by John Coltrane
Prestige Music (Bmi)

Nixon, Dixon And Yates Blues
Written by Curtis Fuller
Second Floor Music (Bmi)

Hot House
Written by Tadd Dameron
Used by Permission of Bienstock Publishing Company
On Behalf of Redwood Music Ltd.
C/o Carlin America, Inc.and Wb Music Corp. (ASCAP)

Hot House (Navy Recording)
Written by Tadd Dameron
Used by Permission of Bienstock Publishing Company
On Behalf of Redwood Music Ltd.
C/o Carlin America, Inc
And WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of the John Coltrane Estate

Say When
Written by Dizzy Gillespie
Published by Dizlo Music
(Administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC.)

By the Numbers
Written by John Coltrane
Prestige Music (Bmi)

‘round Midnight
Written by Thelonious Monk, Cootie Williams
And Bernard Hanighen
Wb Music Corp. (ASCAP)
Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)
OBO Thelonious Music Corp.

So What
Written by Miles Davis
Published by Jazz Horn Music Corporation (Bmi)
(Administered by Kobalt Music Services America Inc.)
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement With Sony Music Licensing

My Favorite Things
Written by Richard Rodgers And Oscar Hammerstein Ii
Published by Williamson Music (ASCAP)

I Want to Talk About You
Written by Billy Eckstein
Unichappell Music Inc. (BMI)

My One and Only Love
Written by Guy Wood And Robert Mellin
Published by Warock Corp. & Colgems – EMI Music Inc.
(Administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC.)
U.S. Published by Colgems – EMI Music Inc.
(Administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC.) & Warock Corp.

Special Thanks
Adam Block
Phyllis Bridges
Jonathan Clyde
The John Coltrane House, Philadelphia, Pa
The John & Alice Coltrane Home, Dix Hills, NY, Museum And Cultural Center
Chris Devito
Lenora Early & Aminta Gadson
Adam Fells
Andrew Finkelstein
Angelo Gagliano Sr.
Jonas Herbsman
Burt Metcalfe
Maureen Sickler
Richard Solomon
Yves Sportis
Ron Stein
Kim Stewart
David Tegnell
Walter Teller
Rudy Van Gelder
David Wild
Seiki “Yuki” Yukimoto

Chasing Trane is a Co-production of Meteor 17, in Association With Crew Neck Productions, Universal Music Enterprises, Rhino Entertainment Company, and Concord Music Group.

This Program Was Produced by Morling Manor Music Corp. and Jowcol Music LLC, Which Are Solely Responsible for Its Content.

© MMXVII Morling Manor Music Corp. And Jowcol Music, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Were you familiar with the music of John Coltrane before this film? What music (new or old) do you listen to today that has a jazz influence? What jazz musicians would be on your "desert island list"?


  • Festival Programmers Award - Documentary
    Pan African Film Festival Los Angeles
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Were you familiar with the music of John Coltrane before this film? What music (new or old) do you listen to today that has a jazz influence? What jazz musicians would be on your "desert island list"?