What a great year for documentaries on black figures of the past and present. We wrote about how iconic author James Baldwin is getting a documentary, and now legendary jazz saxophonist John Coltrane is getting one too.
According to Shadow & Act Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary will tell the story of the musician through archival materials, animated murals and interviews from the likes of Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, Reggie Workman, Carlos Santana,Common and Kamasi Washington.
But that’s not all — Denzel Washington will be narrating the documentary, voicing Coltrane’s own words throughout the film.
Chasing Trane, which is directed by John Scheinfeld and produced by Spencer Proffer, is debuting at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The filmmakers previously said that they aim to make a film that “humanizes” Coltrane, and according to the film synopsis below that’s still the focus of Chasing Trane.
“Revolutionary artist and innovator, John Coltrane expanded the frontiers of his craft by introducing elements from musical traditions the world over. 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.”
This sounds like too good of a documentary to miss out on. Coltrane’s story is arguably one of the most interesting out of the jazz musicians that he rose to prominence alongside of, overcoming drug addiction and alcohol abuse, and creating the masterpiece A Love Supreme.
There are no trailers out for Chasing Trane yet, but hopefully we’ll get some soon, as well as a release date for the United States too.