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Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary (2016)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography, Music | 14 April 2017 (USA)
An exploration of the global power and impact of the music of John Coltrane where the passions, experiences and forces that shaped his life and revolutionary sounds are revealed.


John Scheinfeld


John Scheinfeld
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... John Coltrane (voice)
Reggie Workman Reggie Workman ... Self
Ravi Coltrane Ravi Coltrane ... Self
Ashley Kahn Ashley Kahn ... Self
Sonny Rollins ... Self
Antonia Andrews Antonia Andrews ... Self
Jimmy Heath ... Self
Benny Golson Benny Golson ... Self
Lewis Porter Lewis Porter ... Self
Bill Clinton ... Self (as President Bill Clinton)
Cornel West ... Self (as Dr. Cornel West)
Michelle Coltrane Michelle Coltrane ... Self
Wynton Marsalis ... Self
Ben Ratliff Ben Ratliff ... Self
Carlos Santana ... Self


CHASING TRANE is the definitive documentary film about an outside-the-box thinker with extraordinary talent whose boundary-shattering music continues to impact and influence people around the world. This smart, passionate, thought-provoking and uplifting documentary is for anyone who appreciates the power of music to entertain, inspire and transform. Written and directed by critically-acclaimed documentary filmmaker John Scheinfeld (The U.S. vs. John Lennon and Who Is Harry Nilsson...?) the film is produced with the full participation of the Coltrane family and the support of the record labels that collectively own the Coltrane catalog. Scheinfeld brings his strong story-telling skills to the creation of a rich, textured and compelling narrative that takes the audience to unexpected places. Set against the social, political and cultural landscape of the times, CHASING TRANE brings John Coltrane to life as a fully dimensional being, inviting the audience to engage with Coltrane the man... Written by Meteor 17 [us]

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Did You Know?


The film is an official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival - 2016. See more »


John Coltrane: Well, I dislike war. Period. So, therefore, as far as I'm concerned, it should stop. It should have already stopped. And any other war.
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Crazy Credits

"The words of John Coltrane are from interviews and liner notes published between 1957 and 1967." See more »

User Reviews

A must-see
12 September 2018 | by joelmpSee all my reviews

A must-see for anyone who likes jazz, or just musical history of the fifties and sixties. The interviews are a cut above, especially by Bennie Golson, Jimmy Heath, the incomparable Sonny Rollins, Coltrane's first daughter, and even, believe it or not, Bill Clinton. The music is superb, somehow finding the time to have excerts from Coltrane's most transcendent work -- Giant Steps, Naima, Alabama, My Favorite Things, All Blues and more. (Only one of my favorites is missing - Afro-Blue.) Intelligent, coherent -- a great introduction to Coltrane if you don't know him, and a wonderful appreciation for those of us who do. Even the animations are beautiful. The film got nit-picked by critics -- "not enough music", "too conventional", etc. But the film intelligently depicts the key moments in his life, sets it in the historical context of his times both musically and politically, all the while celebrating his genius. See it for yourself.

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Release Date:

14 April 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,626, 16 April 2017

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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