music of soul featurette

Do ya like jazz? Well, you’re going to, if Pixar has anything to say about it. The upcoming Pixar animated film Soul is a love letter to the music genre, and that love letter will extend beyond the film itself. Disney and Pixar are releasing not one, but three albums related to Soul, one of which is a vinyl album inspired by the film from jazz musician Jon Batiste. And to get you excited about all that jazz, Pixar has released a “Music of Soul” featurette, which goes into the making of the incredible soundtrack of the film. Watch the Music of Soul featurette below.

Music of Soul Featurette

Soul has one of the best scores to come out of a Pixar film, and that’s no accident: directors Pete Docter and Kemp Powers wanted to make sure jazz was another character in the film, and enlisted musician Jon Batiste to make that happen. But Soul is more than just a love letter to jazz. It also gets metaphysical, and for that portion of the film, only Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross could do justice with a synthy, trippy score. So to cover all their bases with the incredible musical range that Soul encompasses, Walt Disney Records is releasing not one, but three albums related to the Pixar film.

The first is the Soul Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, the second is a Soul Original Score vinyl album and lastly, there’s the Music From and Inspired by Soul vinyl album. The soundtrack includes the score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, but also includes the songs “Rappin Ced” performed by Daveed Diggs, “Parting Ways” performed by Cody ChesnuTT, and Batiste’s cover of the Curtis Mayfield classic “It’s All Right.”

“Jon Batiste is a fantastic musician—he’s a historian yet is able to push the music forward, bringing all these different influences to the work. I sincerely hope that the jazz music in ‘Soul’ will inspire a whole new generation,” Docter said.

Added Batiste, “All the compositions are influenced by a large swath of the hundred-plus years of jazz music, which gives the listener a lot of reference points.  It’s a subtle way to pay homage while also introducing a whole new audience to these types of sounds.”

As for the score by Reznor and Ross, Docter wanted the score to be “different from any other Pixar film. We were excited to work with Trent and Atticus because we knew they would bring us places we’d never gone before.” This means lots of synthetic music and experimental arrangements for the scores in the Great Beyond and the Great Before, which Reznor said was about using the “variety of real, imagined and synthetic instruments, and [spending] the first chunk of time experimenting with different arrangements and different instruments and seeing what felt emotionally right to create the fabric of this world.”

The digital Soul Original Motion Picture Soundtrack features 42 score and jazz tracks; the Soul Original Score vinyl album by Reznor and Ross features 23 tracks (Side A 12 tracks / Side B 11 tracks); and Music From and Inspired By Soul vinyl album by Jon Batiste features 22 tracks (Side A 15 tracks / Side B 7 tracks).

The digital soundtrack and both vinyl albums will all be made available on December 18, 2020.

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