John Coltrane is a name many people have heard. To jazz fans, Coltrane is a name they associate with one of the great icons in 20th century music. And simply ‘Trane’ is whom other musicians and deep fans evoke to speak, sometimes in hushed tones, of a singular artist who elevated the saxophone into the realm of the profound and the spiritual. John Scheinfeld’s documentary has something in it for each of those people. Although Trane only lived to age 40, he had a gigantic influence in the jazz world.
The film begins with an opening scene familiar to L.A. residents. A gridlocked freeway on a bright sunny day has motorists stepping out of their cars, but in “La La Land,” they burst into a song and dance number in celebration of the day. There we meet the soon-to-be lovers, Mia and Sebs (Sebastian). But at this moment Mia is rehearsing for an audition and Sebs honks in frustration and pulls ahead while she gives him the finger.