Wednesday, May 31, 2017

'Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary' (2016)

Made a pilgrimage to the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff to see John Scheinfeld's Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary (2016). I wanted to see and hear Coltrane on the big screen. Well worth the extra effort.

The film is partly about the man and the musician, whose 1965 album A Love Supreme usually makes it into the top five jazz recordings of all time (that is, since electronic recordings began in earnest around the time of World War I). The film is also about Coltrane's impact on various people and their evolving ways of perceiving the world, plus more specifically his influence on musicians of various genres.
From the first time I listened to a John Coltrane recording, in my mid-teens, I've been hooked. Even now, I've got a framed album cover of Giant Steps in my work office and a framed cover of Blue Train at home. I've got three copies of A Love Supreme. I also dig Alice Coltrane, who continued down his mystical path after John's death in 1967 at the age of forty.

The most interesting surprise to me about Chasing Trane is a side trip to Japan, during Coltrane's last extended tour, and his visit to the Nagasaki atomic bombing memorial, and the enthusiastic Japanese response. 
The Texas Theatre is where Lee Harvey Oswald was nabbed on November 22, 1963, shortly after 1:40 p.m. A strange feeling to be seeing a John Coltrane documentary in this place on John Fitzgerald Kennedy's 100th birthday. But fitting, because Trane's music provides a portal to places far beyond our typical experience of space and time. 

Today's Music: Flow.  

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

The Japanese seem to have long been very accepting of American music, of all stripes and genres. Coltrane was certainly a helluva talent