John Coltrane Feature Documentary

Spencer Proffer, along with colleagues, Dave Harding, Scott Pascucci {George Harrison: Living in the Material World; The Beatles: 8 Day A Week) and John Beug {Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival}, have have produced the authorized feature doc on John Coltrane and his socio cultural impact and music plus humanity on the world.  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.

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.

TRAILER:  https://vimeopro.com/crewneckproductions/chasing-trane-m17-trailer

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 was produced with the support of the Coltrane family and the record labels that collectively manage the Coltrane catalog.  They are The Concord Music Group, Universal Music Enterprises and Rhino/Warner Music.  

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.

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.

The film appeals to a broad, worldwide audience that will be touched by Coltrane’s very human story of demons and redemption. Told in a fresh and entertaining way, it is a film about hope, faith, optimism and the power of music to heal and to transform the world.

There is an on-going global reach to the music of John Coltrane. Over 45 years after his death, his music continues to make a significant impact on the lives of people around the world of all ages, races, faiths and socio-economic circumstances.

And there’s not a jazz superstar today…as well as influential figures such as Quincy Jones…and some rock and rollers (i.e. Sting, Bono, Carlos Santana) who don't admire Coltrane and/or claim him as an influence. But who is John Coltrane?

All of this is set against the social, political and culture landscape of his times (1926-1967). Our film is a rich and textured portrait of an artist that makes everything about Coltrane accessible, entertaining, insightful and inspirational.

John Coltrane's musical themes occupied his musical oeuvre - the interconnectedness of the universe, the healing vibrations of song and sound, the rich tapestry of culture and landscape and the redemptive force of love which culminates into his rich musical history.

Utilizing never-before-seen Coltrane family home movies, footage of John Coltrane and band in the studio (with Miles Davis and others) along with hundreds of never-before-seen photographs and rare television appearances from around the world, Coltrane’s incredible story is told by the musicians that worked with him along with musicians that have been inspired by his fearless artistry and creative vision.  We also have vital commentaries from Coltrane’s children and biographers, in addition to well-known admirers.

Chasing Trane reveals the critical events, passions, experiences and challenges that shaped the life of John Coltrane and his revolutionary sounds. It is a story of demons and darkness, of persistence and redemption. Above all else, 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.

As a result, our movie is scored in its entirety with the music of John Coltrane. The creative team was granted unprecedented access to his entire catalogue of recordings on Prestige, Blue Note, Atlantic, Pablo and Impulse. The beauty, poignancy, energy, pain, and joy heard in nearly 50 Coltrane recordings from throughout his career bring alive the artist and the times in which he lived. Each composition used was carefully selected to support the emotional and uplifting content of nearly every scene in the film.

Born September 23rd, 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina, John Coltrane’s first introduction to music came through his musician father. Growing up, Coltrane was obsessed with the records of Count Basie and Lester Young. At the age of 13, he picked up the saxophone and tried to imitate the sounds of his then idols Charlie Parker and Johnny Hodges. Thus began the career of one of the Twentieth Century’s most important and influential artists. Coltrane’s dramatic life story was cinematic in its scope from his early musical life playing alongside giants such as Dizzy Gillespie, to breakout performances with the Miles Davis Quintet on their classic recordings ‘Round About Midnight and Kind of Blue, to a historic association with Thelonious Monk and then finally to his astonishing solo career that gave the world such masterworks as Giant Steps, My Favorite Things, Impressions, Live at Birdland and 1965's seminal A Love Supreme.

“Trane” died in 1967 at the age of 40, an enigmatic, dominant figure whose massive influence on generations of artists has grown even stronger in the decades since.

“I was at the top of the Grand Hotel in Chicago on tour in 1987 listening to A Love Supreme and learning the lesson of a lifetime…the beauty of John Coltrane’s reedy voice, its whispers, its knowingness, its sly sexuality, its praise of creation. I left the music on repeat and stayed awake listening to a man facing God with the gift of his music.” — Bono
“It's been said that the pain you hear in John Coltrane's saxophone is no different than the field hollers from times of slavery, and from Africa and Cuba and Brazil. The sacred space between pain and joy is the ultimate source for my musical expression and for my life's work: Just listen.” – Quincy Jones

Chasing Trane explores the power and reach of the music of John Coltrane. It reveals the passions, ideas, experiences and the forces that shaped his life and inspired Coltrane's revolutionary sounds, all set against the social, political, cultural and spiritual landscape of the times.

This theatrical documentary and original soundtrack, offers a fresh and unique approach to the music anchored documentary art form. At its heart, the film is about hope, faith, optimism and the power of music to inspire, entertain, heal and to transform..

“When I heard Miles Davis and John Coltrane, I realized that these musicians were exploring the outer reaches of human understanding, like physicists in a sound laboratory.” Sting

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.”

The beauty, poignancy, energy, pain, insight and inspiration heard in this music will elevate the emotional resonance of the film and allow even those familiar with Coltrane’s music to hear it in a completely new and different way.

The power and reach of John Coltrane’s music…combined with his inspirational story of demons and redemption…will offer audience members comfort, healing, hope and an unforgettable viewing experience.

“My music is the spiritual expression of what I am — my faith, my knowledge, my being…when you begin to see the possibilities of music, you desire to do something really good for people, to help humanity free itself from its hang-ups…I want to speak to their souls.” — John Coltrane

On November 17, 2017,  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.

The 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.

Stanley Hainsworth and Tether, Inc. in Seattle, serve as marketing consultants to Meteor 17 and Proffer.

Independent Lens Presents ‘Chasing Trane’ Broadcast Premiere on November 6, 2017 on PBS;

Indie Lens Pop-Up Free Screening Events in Several U.S. Cities Through November 5, 2017

The GRAMMY Museum® Opens New John Coltrane Exhibit on November 17, 2017;