Independent Lens: Chasing Trane - The John Coltrane Documentary

About This Episode


Set against the social, political and cultural landscape of the times, Chasing Trane brings saxophone great John Coltrane to life, as a man and an artist. The film is the definitive look at the boundary-shattering musician whose influence continues to this day.

The documentary features never-before-seen Coltrane family home movies, footage of Coltrane and his band in the studio, along with hundreds of rare photographs and television appearances from around the world. Coltrane’s incredible story is told by the musicians who worked with him, musicians inspired by his fearless artistry and creative vision, Coltrane’s children and biographers, and well-known admirers.

Chasing Trane reveals the critical events, passions, experiences, and challenges that shaped Coltrane’s life and his revolutionary sounds. It is a story of demons and darkness, of persistence and redemption. Above all, 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. And naturally, the film is imbued throughout with Coltrane's remarkable music.