Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary

When: July 14-16, 8 p.m. 2017

John Coltrane wasn't always the leading light of jazz. The saxophonist had serious alcohol and heroin addictions, which left him functional enough to play with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk — but only barely. When Davis sacked him for his unreliability, Coltrane quit everything cold turkey and rededicated himself to his art. He reinvented jazz several times over after that, drawing on his deep spiritual beliefs and experiences in the Jim Crow South to create music that is personal, revelatory and thrilling, even 60 years later. John Scheinfeld's Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary seeks to tap into Coltrane's past and his inner drive in an attempt to understand what powered his indelible music. Using old print interviews read by Denzel Washington (Coltrane was never interviewed on tape or film) and archival footage, as well as the memories of contemporaries and admirers such as Sonny Rollins, Benny Golson and former president Bill Clinton, Chasing Trane attempts to capture Coltrane's inner light. The documentary screens at 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday (July 14 to 16) at Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; Tickets are $5 to $7.

Paul Friswold

Price: $5-$7

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