Submitted by jbraun on

This Christmas, Pixar is releasing a brand new movie that examines what it means to have soul, enjoy life and pursue your dreams, even after setbacks. Jamie Foxx stars as Joe Gardner, a school jazz teacher who has never given up on his dream to perform on stage. Right before his big debut, tragedy strikes. Joe must escape The Great Beyond by traveling to The Great Before, helping souls-in-training prepare for their journey to Earth so he can return to Earth himself and continue pursuing his dreams.

“If you want to get rid of the blues, play the blues” is the motto of famed American trumpeter and Grammy Award winner Wynton Marsalis, and essentially, how the blues was born. The backbone of almost every single style of popular music today, “the blues is an African-American derived music form that recognized the pain of lost love and injustice and gave expression to the victory of outlasting a broken heart and facing down adversity.”

It’s successor, jazz, takes the blues and mixes it with opera, ragtime, church music, and more, in addition to a huge dose of very skillful improvisation, a feat achieved only by the best artists, like Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong. But regardless of your ability to improvise, the one thing you really need to play great jazz is to have soul and let the blues be your medicine.