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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]
A revolution took place by the mid of the 20th century in American and world music. Jazz, which was until then music for mostly dance and mass entertainment split its ways into several distinct currents, giving birth to rock and roll, to soul, to rhythm and blues. Yes, I know this presentation is quite a simplistic view, but at that time, while other genres were taking up in entertainment dominating the hit parades, radio programs and TV shows, jazz itself evolved to a much more sophisticated form of expression. A bunch of post-WWII jazz musicians changed and developed the sound of jazz making and blew up its boundaries. Among them, together with Charlie Parker and Miles Davies, one of the most important was John Coltrane. "Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary" is dedicated to his life, music and legacy. These exceptional artists toured the world and made of jazz a universal art and one of the greatest contributions of America to the culture of the world.
The documentary written and directed by John Scheinfeld is built on a pattern used by many musical documentary films. It follows closely the life and biography of the artists, uses images filmed and recorded in concerts to illustrate his music, gathers testimonies from family, from jazz fans and experts, from the artists who worked with Coltrane and who came later and were influenced by him. Family members tell about the man he was (moving testimonies by his two step-daughters) and his personal life not avoiding the crisis related to drugs and faith. Musicians who played with him or who came after him talk about his music, and this was the part I valued most (including people like Sonny Rollins, Wynton Marsalis, McCoy Tyner, John Densmore, Carlos Santana). An interesting segments speaks about his tour to Japan (his last) and the special relationship he had with this country. Coltrane seems to not have left any filmed interview, or the makers of this film did not have access to it, but he left quite a lot of memorable quotes and written stories about his life and music, which are read by Denzel Washington. The actor (who does not appear in the film) bears actually an amazing physical resemblance with Coltrane, so if there ever (or soon) will be a feature film about him, he is the best candidate for the lead role. It is music however that speaks best, and if you have the chance to watch this film and listen to the soundtrack in a cinema with good audio conditions, it will be a win. It's not a ground-shaking documentary film, but it's a complete and respectful homage to one of the greatest musicians in history, a man who in a rather short life and career changed the course of music taking it into new territories.
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