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Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary can't hope to truly capture its subject's freewheeling creative spirit, but it's still an engaging overview for fans as well as the uninitiated.
All Critics (40)
| Top Critics (14)
| Fresh (30)
| Rotten (10)
Like Coltrane's music, the sheer brilliance of his musicianship cuts through the clutter.
This documentary about John Coltrane provides a fine overview of his career for the uninitiated and plenty of lesser-known information for fans.
He was, and is, loved, supremely, by millions. "Chasing Trane" shares the love.
So much of what they have to say sounds banal or extraneous compared to the music heard on the soundtrack.
In the end, it's the music, and not the testimonials, that makes the movie.
Washington is a wonderful voice, but his readings of Coltrane's words don't match seeing the artist in motion. The constant stream of still photos, with a recognizable actor's voice, has a distancing effect.
Working with the family of the musician, there are a lot of revealing home movie and archival footage and the words of Coltrane - from interviews or writings - are spoken with cool authority by Denzel Washington.
... does an adequate job telling Coltrane's life story, successfully using animation to embellish its narrative, it ultimately can't live up to its subject's stature as an artist, nor fully convey the magnitude of his musical contributions ...
Fans of the musician will find plenty to tune into here, and the uninitiated will likely go away wanting to scoop up as much of Coltrane's music as they can get their hands on.
Passionate docu about iconic jazz musician; drugs, alcohol.
... Chasing Trane functions as a solid primer for newcomers, while its stunning performance clips, winsome home movies and teeming cavalcade of interviewee.... will keep aficionados perfectly engaged.
Some lovely animation, superb integration of archival photographs and film footage, plus impeccable editing by Peter S. Lynch II keep Chasing Trane informative and engaging.
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