Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The Complete ‘Extant’ Series w/Halle Berry Coming Out On Blu-Ray DVD in Dec. The Complete ‘Extant’ Series w/Halle Berry Coming Out On Blu-Ray DVD in Dec. 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Premieres on HBO Tonight (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Premieres on HBO Tonight (Trailer) Weekend B.O. Sept. 12-14 (Will 'No Good Deed's' Success Help Make Taraji P. Henson an A-lister?) Weekend B.O. Sept. 12-14 (Will 'No Good Deed's' Success Help Make Taraji P. Henson an A-lister?) Producer Charles Belk and Actress Daniele Watts Apparently "Fit the Description" (Just Another Day in the Neighborhood) Producer Charles Belk and Actress Daniele Watts Apparently "Fit the Description" (Just Another Day in the Neighborhood) TIFF 2014 Review: 'Top Five' is Chris Rock's Funniest Movie in Years - If Not Ever TIFF 2014 Review: 'Top Five' is Chris Rock's Funniest Movie in Years - If Not Ever What’s the Big Secret That Got Those ‘No Good Deed’ Screenings Canceled? What’s the Big Secret That Got Those ‘No Good Deed’ Screenings Canceled? Taraji P. Henson Executive Produces Indie ‘Seasons of Love’ (Appears Alongside Gladys Knight, LeToya Luckett) Taraji P. Henson Executive Produces Indie ‘Seasons of Love’ (Appears Alongside Gladys Knight, LeToya Luckett) TV: New Corrections Officer for 'Orange, Another ABC Drama for Shonda Rhimes, SNL's 1st Black 'Weekend Update' Anchor TV: New Corrections Officer for 'Orange, Another ABC Drama for Shonda Rhimes, SNL's 1st Black 'Weekend Update' Anchor 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now Black Kids from Ferguson Speak Out in 'Hey White People' Comedic Video Educating Whites on Racism Black Kids from Ferguson Speak Out in 'Hey White People' Comedic Video Educating Whites on Racism 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Watch First Trailer for Tyler Perry's New OWN TV Drama 'If Loving You Is Wrong' Watch First Trailer for Tyler Perry's New OWN TV Drama 'If Loving You Is Wrong' OWN Announces Cast for New Drama Series 'If Loving You is Wrong' From Tyler Perry OWN Announces Cast for New Drama Series 'If Loving You is Wrong' From Tyler Perry Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

John Coltrane Died Today in History. Learn About Sam Pollard's New Documentary + Watch 'World According To Coltrane'

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 17, 2014 at 11:23AM

His music is universally known and loved, but apparently just not enough to inspire those with the financial resources to tell his life story (or some specific story within those 40 years) in a feature film.
5
John Coltrane

Today in history... July 17, 1967, John William Coltrane died from liver cancer at Huntington Hospital in Long Island, NY.

He was just 40 years young.

Since his death, my research tells me that there hasn't been what I'd call a "high-profile," definitive film (whether scripted or documentary) on Coltrane's life, or even just some aspect of, or period within it. And I think that's quite sad! His music is universally known and loved, but apparently just not enough to inspire those with the financial resources to tell his life story (or some specific story within those 40 years) in a feature film. 

Meanwhile, there's a rush to make films about those who weren't even born when he died, and on whose music Coltrane's was of some influence and inspiration, whether directly or indirectly.

Don Cheadle is finally getting to make his Miles Davis film, after years of financing struggles. It's just amazing to me that films about legends like these 2 (Coltrane and Davis) are practically non-existent, and seemingly face immense challenges stalling their realization. 

Long-time Spike Lee editor (as well as director and producer in his own right) Sam Pollard, has been working on a John Coltrane documentary for a couple of years now (we first learned about it in the fall of 2012), currently titled "A Love Supreme: A Portrait of John Coltrane in 4 Parts," which is said to be based on the critically-acclaimed book "A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane's Signature Album" by music journalist Ashley Kahn.

Details say that "A Love Supreme: A Portrait of John Coltrane in 4 Parts" will be structured in the same way as Coltrane's influential 1964 album of the same name. The album is divided into four parts: "Acknowledgement," "Resolution," "Pursuance," and "Psalm." It will feature interviews with Coltrane's band-mates and friends, as well as historians and music journalists, artists, and people of faith who were inspired by the album.

Also, and interestingly, Pollard has said that he plans to use animation to help tell Coltrane's story, and I'm very curious as to how he plans to implement/incorporate.

There certainly have been other docs on Coltrane, like the hour-long 1990 documentary "The World According To John Coltrane." But Pollard's sounds wholly original in its style and structure, and I've been looking forward to it since I first learned about it almost 2 years ago.

No word on when it can be expected, although I'd assume we're about a year, or less, away from a premiere. Maybe Sundance 2015, where Pollard's last feature documentary, "Slavery by Another Name," premiered 2 years ago.

In the meantime, below, watch the hour-long 1990 documentary "The World According To John Coltrane," which was made in cooperation with Coltrane's then widow Alice Coltrane. And feel free to list your favorite John Coltrane moments/tracks in the comments section below.

This article is related to: Sam Pollard, Today In History


Shadow & ActNewsletter