Coltrane’s Only Live Performance

The man, the legend: John Coltrane.

On the cusp of the soon-to-be released documentary, “Chasing Trane,” we’re celebrating some of his most iconic moments. “Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary” features interviews with Wynton Marsalis, Sonny Rollins, Cornel West, President Bill Clinton, and Common – with Coltrane’s own words narrated by Denzel Washington.

If you’re new to the game and don’t yet understand the impact of  John Coltrane, let that line-up of documentary contributors sit-in. That roster provides just a piece of the legendary impact that Coltrane and his music has made.

John Coltrane was an acclaimed saxophonist, bandleader and composer who is credited with revolutionizing jazz during the 1950s. Originally from North Carolina, he eventually landed in Philadelphia and New York alongside the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. Influenced by earlier legends like Count Basie and Lester Young, Coltrane’s compositions revolutionized jazz with songs like “My Favorite Things” and “A Love Supreme.”

Though his life was cut short following a battle with lung cancer and long term drug use, his distinctive sound is what defines his legacy. By playing several notes at once “amid wondrous cascades of scales,” Coltrane’s technique was unparalleled and continues to inspire musical genres today.

Throughout his life, Coltrane had not a single television interview and very few radio interviews. In a similar vein, recordings of his live performances are few and far between. So, cherish this clip of Coltrane’s only live performance and get ready for the upcoming documentary. The documentary first premiered at the Telluride Film Festival, was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival, IDFA, and DOC NYC. It will hit theaters in April.

Click here to watch the twelve-minute performance of “A Love Supreme,” live, for the first and only time in Coltrane’s career.