A new interview finds musician, activist, and Late Show bandleader Jon Batiste discussing his love of jazz music – and his role of introducing a younger generation to the genre through Pixar’s award-winning film, Soul.
The clip – produced by Rolling Stone for their Spoken Dialogue series – features Batiste in conversation with Kemp Powers, who co-wrote and directed the animated film.
Soul follows the story of Joe Gardner (voiced by Jamie Foxx) – a middle school teacher and budding jazz musician who has to reunite his body and soul after the two become separated. Batiste scored a selection of original jazz compositions for the film, while Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross provided additional cues.
“Music in the film is a character,” said Batiste, who paid homage to many of jazz’s most important artists in his compositions, and featured such legends as Roy Haynes and Harvey Mason. “You really hear that come across on the album – that lineage and that history of Black music and Black culture being represented in such an incredible story,” he added. “The story in and of itself is almost a new mythology.”
Batiste also spoke to making the