John Coltrane Feature Documentary


Spencer Proffer has produced the authorized feature doc on John Coltrane and his socio cultural impact and music plus humanity on the world.  

Denzel Washington performed the narrative voice of JC.   President Bill Clinton, along with Common, Carlos Santana, Wynton Marsalis and many of the living musicians who performed with Coltrane (Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner) participate with their heartfelt insights into the man..  


.Award winning director, John Scheinfeld, best-known for the critically-acclaimed feature documentaries, The U.S. vs. John Lennon and Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him) has powerfully written and directed this evergreen cinematic documentary.

Joining Spencer as producers are Scott Pascucci and John Beug, both of whom have broad experience in successful music documentaries and films (George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013 (Eric Clapton) and more).

The team is also supported by the 3 major record labels who account for nearly 92% of all Coltrane music released over the years as partners. They are The Concord Music Group, Universal Music Enterprises and Warner Music.  Universal Music Enterprises will release the soundtrack as well as the DVD from the film, worldwide.

The team believes the film to be the definitive Coltrane film, the first undertaken with the full participation of the Estate and all of the relevant record companies.  Universal Music Enterprises will release the soundtrack recording and DVD from the film, worldwide in the fall of 2017.

Here is a recent interview with John Scheinfeld and Spencer which gives a behind the scenes look at the making of this film:

The film had its international premiere to great response and acclaim at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival {TIFF}.  A comprehensive digest of the strong reaction to the film can be seen via this link within our M17 site:

Chasing Trane explores the global power and impact of the music of John Coltrane and reveals the passions, experiences and forces that shaped his life and revolutionary sounds.  The voice of Coltrane has been performed by 2 time Academy Award winner, Denzel Washington.  President Bill Clinton, Common, Wynton Marsalis and Santana join a number of the esteemed musicians who played with JC (McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins) to share inside perspectives on this great musician and humanitarian.

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.

We believe that our film will be a music documentary breakout, an unforgettable crowd pleaser and a serious Awards contender around the globe.

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?

Like a good mystery, our film peels back the layers to investigate. We reveal and examine the passions, ideas, experiences and the forces that shaped his life as a man and inspired his revolutionary sounds. We discover and explore his efforts to connect spirituality and emotion to his music and his core belief in the power of music to transform the world.

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.

In addition to the soundtrack to our film (we are looking to include an edition on Vinyl), we also plan to produce new recordings with leading musical personalities of today, interpreting Coltrane's timeless music for generations to come.

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, CHASING TRANE 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 the life of Coltrane and inspired his revolutionary sounds, all set against the social, political, cultural and spiritual landscape of the times.

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

“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

Only the music of John Coltrane is featured in our film – classic Coltrane, live Coltrane, rare Coltrane.  Explaining Coltrane's influence on their music are an amazingly diverse array of music stars we have  interviewed ranging from Carlos Santana, Wynton Marsalis, Pharaoh Sanders to recent Academy Award winning artist/writer, Common. President Bill Clinton has joined the film to also speak about the power and influence of JC's music on the world as well as him.

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

Press about Chasing Trane