Musicians of "Soul"

On December 25th, Disney/Pixar released the movie Soul, about a musician's journey to realize his dream of working as a jazz pianist. Pixar was intent to capture the diversity of the performers active in today's jazz world. To accomplish this, the animators based the movie's musician characters on the performers who recorded the sound track. Pianist Jon Battiste (piano) led the group of artists, including Tia Fuller and Eddie Barbash (saxophones), Phil Kuehn and Linda May Han Oh (bass), Roy Haynes, Marcus Gilmore, and Joe Saylor (drums). Given the movie's popularity, I decided to feature two of its musicians in this week's blog, the saxophonist Tia Fuller and the bassist Linda Oh. Here you may find a video of them performing with the drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, pianist Kris Davis, and trumpeter Milena Casado Faquet.

Animators based the character Dorothea on Tia Fuller, a professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. As a saxophonist she plays jazz and pop music extensively, including work with Beyonce. Some of her accoloades include an album recognized with a Grammy nomination, feature articles and awards from major jazz journals, and numerous guest appearances at festivals around the world. Berklee published an interview with Tia about her experience working on Soul which you can find on the school's website.

Linda May Han Oh recorded bass on the soundtrack for Soul, inspiring the character Miho. An Australian, Linda began her musical journey on clarinet and bassoon, before picking up the bass in high school. After her undergraduate degree, she immigrated to the U.S. to study and perform in New York City, where she still lives. Linda also has a long list of accolades, including composing soundtracks to several films, performing with jazz greats such as Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano, and Pat Metheny, and teaching at the Berklee College of Music. For more information about her work, check out this feature from NPR.