Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Focus Features Picks Up Ruth Negga/Joel Edgerton 'Loving' Story (Based on Anti-Miscegenation Case) Focus Features Picks Up Ruth Negga/Joel Edgerton 'Loving' Story (Based on Anti-Miscegenation Case) HBO Drops First Trailer for 'Confirmation' HBO Drops First Trailer for 'Confirmation' Watch First Trailer for 'Roots' Reboot Watch First Trailer for 'Roots' Reboot Watch: Sri Lankans of African Descent Fight to Keep Their Culture Alive in 'Kaffir Culture' Watch: Sri Lankans of African Descent Fight to Keep Their Culture Alive in 'Kaffir Culture' Taraji P. Henson Will Topline Film Based on Story of Black Women Mathematicians Who Worked for NASA During the Space Race Taraji P. Henson Will Topline Film Based on Story of Black Women Mathematicians Who Worked for NASA During the Space Race Watch Double Academy Award-Nominated 1948 Docu-Drama 'The Quiet One' (Emotionally-Scarred Black Boy Rehabilitated) Watch Double Academy Award-Nominated 1948 Docu-Drama 'The Quiet One' (Emotionally-Scarred Black Boy Rehabilitated) Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? 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