Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: More benefits to having perfect pitch)

I was asked to explain what it is like to have perfect pitch. For those of you who don’t know, perfect pitch is the ability to determine music notes by “ear.” In other words, someone can play a note and without looking I can tell you exactly what that note is. To me it is like “envisioning the note in my mind.” Last night I had a gig and on this particular gig we are known to take “requests.” Someone asked for an old classic “Beatles” tune entitled “She loves you.” The guys in the band usually wait for me to determine what key the song is in before we play it. I had NEVER played the song before in life and had not heard it is a while. I finally surmised that the song was in the key of “G” and then we proceeded to actually “play” it. When we finished, people “loved it.” If not for my perfect pitch, we probably would not have been able to pull that one off. I also sang the lyrics. Perfect pitch is most fun to me when people are  trying to throw you off your game. I remember years ago this keyboard player had some songs that he wrote and I had to learn  them. He had a little attitude with him, and acted like he was going to be frustrated because he felt he had to now “teach” me the songs. He started calling out notes to me and I told him to just “play” the song. He didn’t like that, but as he continued to play the songs I continued to play the correct notes to them. At one point he was getting so frustrated that he “purposely” tried to play wrong chords just so he could prove a point. I immediately stopped him and alerted him to the fact that he was playing the wrong notes to his own songs. My hearing can also go “well beyond” just music. I can often tell from hearing someone’s steps just who they are (because the sound of steps have a note quality to them that can be determined) without having to actually “see” them. I can also tell who is about to come to my house by the sound of their “car door” slamming (because that also has a note quality to it). Unfortunately there are adverse sides to perfect pitch as well. I can normally hear things that other people can”t. For instance, someone could be whispering something about me in the very next room “thinking” that I can’t hear it. Well, in most cases they would be wrong, because my hearing is tuned in to what they are saying. Since I play bass guitar my hearing is “tuned in” to bass whenever I  hear a particular song. If I had to play the keyboard parts to it I would have to listen a little more “intently.” However, in most cases i can usually figure that out as well. Perfect pitch has been cool for me, and it helps me get through a lot of music. People think that I have learned a “library” of music in my head, when the actual fact is I “learn a song while I am listening to it.” That is what “perfect pitch” is all about. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and I wish you the best that life has to offer today.


Skype: Brettjolly1

In the rehearsal studio with GC Cameron (He sang “It’s a shame” and “It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday”)



Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: Opening up for the Impressions and Temptations)

This past weekend I had the pleasure to perform in Washington, DC with an R&B group called the Ebonys. While a lot of people don’t know who they are, they had a couple of big hits entitled “You’re the reason why” and “Forever.” We were performing at the Lincoln Theater near Howard University and we were opening up for legendary groups like the Impressions and the Temptations. Please keep in mind that very few of these groups have original members left in them, so often when you hear them in concert the voices are rarely genuine. For the Impressions I  had a great fondness even though Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler were no longer part of this group.  Nevertheless, they gave a great show and if you like their  music, then it is worth it to see them perform. There are at least TWO (2) Temptation groups. One is the original name group led by Otis Williams (he was the founder and original member of the Temptations, but he “rarely” sang any lead parts on the recordings). All of the other original Temptations died so when you hear the Otis Temptations none of the voices sound “authentic.” Dennis Edwards formed a new set of Temptations called the “Temptation Review.” The difference here is that Dennis sang lead on “many” of their great  hits and his voice is absolutely recognizable when you hear it. He also features the “son” of the late Paul Williams (his name is Paul Williams Jr.) and he sounds “exactly” like his father. This set of Temptations has been more popular than the original group and this is the group that was with us in Washington DC that day. I was up onstage during sound check when I noticed Dennis entering into the theater to sit and listen to us. I also caught him out of the corner of my eye talking to other members of his group and pointing in my direction. I tried to pay it very little attention and went about my business. Well, later on, Dennis came “looking” for  me to tell me “personally” how much of a great player I was and about how great our band sounded. This was a great compliment for me, because I had idolized this man when I was a very young boy. He has had the privilege of working with some of the best bass players in history and yet he made a concerted effort to personally compliment me. It reminded me of  years ago when I did a gig with Teddy Pendergrass in Norfolk at the Coliseum and the Isley Brothers were on the bill. Well, the lead guy for them, Ronald Isley, also sought me out that evening to personally tell me that he thought I was an “awesome” bass player.  Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures with either of these individuals but those were still very special moments for me. It is one thing to pursue your craft but it something entirely different to be recognized  and compliment by experienced icons in your field. By the way, the Tempations Review had a  great performance as well. Even though they performed to tracks (pre-recorded music) they sounded great (I hate hearing tracks, though). I wanted to share this with you today and hope you don’t mind. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and I wish the very best to you that life has to offer today.


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Teddy Pendergrass and Brett Jolly in concert


Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: A sample of my photography)

I have seen some really excellent pictures on this site, and while I love to play music I also have an interest in photography. I realize that I talk about music and other things a good deal, but today I wanted to share with you a recent picture that I took. I promote  a Wednesday night event that I host here in Philadelphia so each week I feature different women modeling my bass guitar in pictures. It started out as just a fun thing to do but then people started liking it so much that now I they anxiously “await” my next model shot. This lady’s name is Brittney, and the scene behind her is quite real. She wanted a waterfall shot with the bass and when it rained i figured  she would probably want to postpone the shoot. However, she loved the fact that it was raining and still wanted to do this anyway. It turned out to be fun and crazy and as you can see the results came out rather well. As I said, I am not a professional like some of the great pictures I have seen on this site, but I hope no one minds  me sharing this sample pic with you today. Pictures are expression, and I only hope that this one will prove to be an interesting one for you. Unfortunately I don’t know  how to make this picture bigger (in real size it is a lot bigger) but I hope you can see it well enough today. Hold on. I  just discovered that if you click on the picture it will get bigger. Thank you again and have a great day.

GS Blair 1jj

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Artist Spotlight: Marvin Gaye)

Today I would like to do an artist spotlight. This particular performer left us  many years ago, but the impact of his music still lingers with us today. Marvin Gaye was often a “tortured soul.” As great as he was, he often got lost in his paranoid ways and drug usage. This man had a voice that could capture the attention of millions. He  performed the harmony notes to his songs that were often complex, diverse and difficult for any professional singer to emulate. If you listen to his background vocals on his classic hit “Let’s get it on” they don’t even seem to make much sense, and yet they fit the tune perfectly. Marvin’s life was often in turmoil. For someone who should have been on “top” of his world he seemed like someone who just couldn’t function with everything being “perfect.” However, Marvin was a true “artist.” A “true artist” is one who will write about his own circumstances and express himself through his or her music. Marvin fit that description to the “tee.” When he didn’t like the direction the world events was going in, he wrote his all time classic song and album entitled “What’s going on.” This song was a testament to the war and I can easily say that this was one of the greatest classics “of all time.” I invite all to listen to the entire album (or CD or download) and judge for yourself. I forget the title, but one of my favorite tracks of his features the lyrics “Don’t go and talk about my father, God is my friend.” This song will touch you from the inside out when listening to it, and I absolutely love  this piece.  He also had “many” other hits like “I heard it through the grapevine, Can I get a witness, One more heartache, You’re all I need to get by (sung with Tammi Terrell), Ain’t nothing like the real thing and Ain’t no Mountain High Enough. One song that was actually labeled one of the “best vocal performances of all time” was his classic hit “Distant Lover.” It is “imperative” to listen to the live version of this track to get the full impact of what Marvin could do. Onstage, Marvin had the Lionel Richie-Whitney Houston complex.” In other words, Marvin couldn’t dance to save  his life, but his singing was so impeccable that it didn’t matter. For  me personally, whenever I felt down I could always listen to a Marvin Gaye song and realize that he probably felt much “worse.” By the way, I cannot leave out one of the best dance classics of all time that Marvin did, and that was one of his last hits, a simple song entitled “Got to give it up.” To me this track sounds as though the bass synthesizer player on this track was “high” because a lot of it doesn’t make much sense, but as with all of his other tracks, it “fits.” Marvin died when his father shot him. Even  though he may not have felt like he was the perfect fit for this world, we are ALL blessed by the amazing songs he left behind. I invite you to Google Marvin for yourself and check out ALL of his music. As time goes on, newer things come into play and often force some of the older things out of the picture. Marvin Gaye is an artist that should “never” be forgotten. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and I wish the very best to you and yours today.


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Just Brett Jolly in concert

Brett 7165

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: “Who are the real winners in war?”)

When you check the news, there just seems to be a whole lot of fighting going on everywhere. They are fighting in the Gaza strip. They are fighting in the UK. The republicans are always fighting President Obama. Heck, I even read that Jay-Z and Beyonce are even fighting (and almost ready to break up). Why is it so necessary to fight, and what do you really get out of it? In the case of the Gaza strip, tensions have been at a nuclear level for many years. The main problem is that in war “innocent lives” always become “casualties.” The other day I saw pictures of the bodies of dead 3 year-old babies who didn’t even realize a war was going on. Did they have to lose their lives in such a manner? The plane that was downed over the UK had passengers who were not looking to fight anyone. They only wanted a safe trip to their destination and yet some cowards decided to attack them to make a point. Why was it necessary to kill people who were innocent in all of this? As for the Republicans, they have made it their duty to fight Obama on “every” issue they can. If Obama wanted to pass a bill that stated “Water is wet” then chances are “great” that the Republicans would “unanimously reject it.” They don’t necessarily come up with any alternatives either. Sometimes it seems like their man purpose is not to stop Obama from failing, but rather to stop  him from “succeeding.” I wish they had been so “vehement” about all this during the “Bush” era when he  was “tanking” the economy.  When it comes to Jay-Z and Beyonce, I really could care less about this one, but if her sister Solange gets involved there might be “bigger casualties.” As a human race, we are supposed to be “above” regular animals in how we interact, and yet in some cases we can be more “barbaric” than even  the worst of animals. We fight because it is in our nature to do so. We live on a planet where were are dependent upon each other to survive and yet we kill more or ourselves every day. Maybe we are not as “superior” as we make ourselves out to be. There are no winners in war. Fighting of any kind may help you relieve stress and frustration, but in the end it never really solves anything. I am a firm believer that all human life should have value. Maybe one day the rest of the world  will “see that vision with me.” I hope that your day today is everything you wanted it to be, but most of all I hope it is “peaceful.” Thank you so much  and please have a great one.


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Brett Jolly  and Verdine White (Bass player for Earth Wind and Fire)


Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: “Is interracial dating supposed to be a bad thing?”)

Someone asked me the other day about “interracial dating.”For some reason this person couldn’t see people of different races and cultures trying to form relationships. Just wait until you hear the actual “reasoning” behind his logic. First, he said that people would constantly stare at interracial couples as they walked through public. Next, if they had any children, they would experience an “identity conflict” because they would not know what race to relate to.  The final explanation was that if God had wanted us to date outside of our own race, then He would have just made us all the same color. These reasons were so “out of whack” that I couldn’t even answer him at first. I just stared at him with a blank expression because I couldn’t believe he even “went there.” First of all, unless you can trace  your ancestry all the way back to the beginning (or do a DNA test) you may not even know the different races you are mixed with. Just because a person “looks white” doesn’t mean that he may not have another nationality in  his family line. Recently there was a well known racist on  the Trisha Goddard show who ranted racial hatred all through the program (you can Google it online to find the story) and yet after taking a DNA test he  was found to have some Nigerian in his blood line. Needless to say, he looked quite foolish after that was discovered. As for a “racial identity crisis” I believe that we all should just be accepted as part of the “human race.” Most African American people I know of are mixed with “something” (because otherwise their skin tone would be perfectly dark with no variations). Even White people have different shades, as well as Arabs, Asians, etc. As for couples being stared at in public, that could be because they are such a great looking couple. It doesn’t necessarily have to be attributed to skin color.  When he went into his rationale about God making us all the same color I wanted to “punt him” down field.? What this man didn’t seem to realize was that God DID make us all the same color “on the inside.” I have yet to see anyone whose blood color is anything other than red. I know that people will have their hangups about mixed race associations and they are entitled to their opinions. However, if your color is different from someone else then it makes you “no less human.” Sometimes I think we could see “a lot more” if we just “closed” our eyes… Whoever you are, however you think, and whatever your color, you are blessed today.  Now what color is “that?”


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Olivia Newton John, Brett Jolly and musical director Amy Skyy

Olivia Newton John and Brett Jolly