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71 Ratings

Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary

Directed by John Scheinfeld
United States, 2016


In Chasing Trane, veteran documentarian John Scheinfeld explores the life and work of this singular artist.

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Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary Directed by John Scheinfeld
Director John Scheinfeld (The U.S. vs. John Lennon) nicely balances Coltrane’s biography with explanations of his musical innovations, showing how the two were intertwined… The engaging talking heads include friends and associates (among them Sonny Rollins and McCoy Tyner, the latter featured too briefly) and such Coltrane enthusiasts as Common and Bill Clinton.
May 04, 2017
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Scheinfeld, who’s previously made docs on challenging subjects such as Harry Nilsson and Bing Crosby, is at least smart enough not to go into this subject in an intimidated, defensive crouch. “Chasing Trane” streamlines the story of the jazz saxophonist, but it does so in a way that doesn’t feel like cheating. Scheinfeld’s approach is to give the viewer the forest, point out a few trees and get out, confident that those trees will inspire the viewer to spend more time in the forest.
April 14, 2017
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The filmmakers seem not to have considered that they could, with excerpts and expert opinion, guide viewers into the squall of Ascension or Meditations, just as they don’t seem to think they owe it to us to articulate what ‘Trane picked up from his stints working with Davis or Thelonious Monk. West’s musing on the latter — “That level of genius taking time to nurture your genius!” — is as deep into technique as Chasing Trane gets.
April 12, 2017
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