Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Photo red bass guitar session with April”)

April is a young lady who had a very tough upbringing. While her circumstances could easily have made her angry at the world I found that her demeanor was anything but hardened. She literally cares about people, she respects people, and she has such a positive outlook on life that is incredible to believe given her circumstances. We took 2 days to do  this session and as you can see, one day was a “lot” warmer than the next one. April was fun to work with and I hope you don’t mind me sharing some of her red bass guitar session with you today. Thank you and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“My New Year’s Resolution”)

As we head into the new year I often take time to reflect on my past and my own vision of the future. While many of us can’t know for sure what the future holds it shouldn’t stop any of us from making plans to improve our quality of life. I am extremely thankful for any and all blessings that have come my way, but I also realize that I encountered pitfalls as well. I was not successful at everything I wanted to do, so now I am pondering ways to improve on my success ratio. I “love” music, and it has been  my passion in life (When I was younger, my passion was basketball, which I played relentlessly, but that changed once I injured my knee). I realize that no one is perfect, and that includes myself as well. Making a New Year’s resolution shouldn’t be any more different than making one of my “regular” resolutions. I cannot change the world but that shouldn’t stop me from trying to exhibit “positive energy.” There are enough suicidal maniacs, depraved individuals  and those with terrorist agendas in this world for us to contend with. Maybe if some of these people actually “came across” people with “positive spirits” it  might make a difference in how they feel towards the world as well. For a child growing up, it only takes “one individual” to make a positive reflection on that child’s life. We all are a product of our environment. If a child grows up knowing nothing but death and destruction, then that is what that child is capable of displaying. There are people in need of someone to tell them how “great, talented, or pretty” they are. A small compliment can really go a “long way.” “Uplifting someone” can make their New Year’s resolution easier as well. So if you have not guessed it by now, my resolution for the New Year is simply to attempt to exhibit “more positive energy.” It may not make a bit of difference to anyone else, but as long as it makes me feel better, then it is surely worth the effort for me. I hope it is worth it for you as well. Thank you for reaching my Daily Thought today, and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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Comedian Chris Tucker, brother Bill Jolly and Brett Jolly in concert

Chris Tucker

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought ( “Playing Aretha Franklins party with the Emotions”)

Each year Aretha Franklin gives a special Christmas party in her hometown of Detroit. She usually invites her closest friends and hires a big name act each year to perform. Well, a couple of years back I had the honor to perform for one of her parties, and it turned out to be an adventure all by itself. First, my entire band was from Philadelphia, so she paid to fly us out to Detroit for this affair. This particular year there was a huge problem, because 24 inches of snow had fallen on the Chicago/Detroit area, so our very first day the flight had been canceled. We were worried because Aretha had no intentions of postponing her party. With 24 inches of snow on the ground, many people had to be re-booked on flights, and the next day was a serious logjam trying to get the entire band through. On one flight, they told us that they could only take 6 of us. Since I was the bass player, my parts were more essential to have (as opposed to a horn player or something like that) so I took the first available flight out and the other guys had no guarantees that they would make the party on time. Well, I managed to make it, but my luggage “didn’t.” Well, at least it didn’t until about an “hour” before the gig was to start (By the way, that was also the time when the rest of the band members made it as well). Things were not going smoothly at all, but at least it was “going.” Earlier that day the 6 or us who were there had the chance to rehearse with the main group of the party, and that group was “The Emotions.” We started off performing “Boogie Wonderland,” which was credited to Earth, Wind and Fire but the Emotions sang on most of that track. Then we did “You got the best of my Love” and the ladies really loved the way we played their music. I told them that it was our honor to perform for them and if we can ever get the “entire” band here it will “really” be a great show. Aretha was very happy when all of us finally arrived, and the show went great. The Emotions are one of those groups that still sound “awesome” even during their twilight years. Their harmonies and range are still incredible. Finally, the show had been done. It took “forever” just to catch a cab through so much snow back to the  hotel. We were relieved to make this gig happen, and now all that was left was to sleep for the night and go back home in the morning. At least that was what we thought. The next day our flight was delayed “again” and once we “finally” caught a flight home I am sure you can “guess” what “didn’t” happen next. Yup, our luggage did not make it back home with us. We had to come back to the airport later in the day just to get our clothes and stuff. The gig was great, but the gig was crazy, but at least we “pulled it off.” I loved working with the Emotions and I sincerely hope one day to have another opportunity. I hope you don’t mind me sharing my stories with you from time to time. I hope your holidays were excellent and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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The Emotions and Brett Jolly in concert at Aretha Franklin’s Christmas Party

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Red Bass Photo session with Thaimi, Latina singer”)

These are pictures I tool this past summer of Thaimi, a young Latina singer with a great voice, who writes and produces her own material. She loved the concept of taking Red Bass photos and I hope you don’t mind me sharing the results with you today. Thank you all and have a great holiday.bass thai 10j bass thai 11j bass thai 12j bass thai 13 bass thai 14j bass thai 15j

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Please be careful, the scam artists have already started”)

While this year should have a very festive atmosphere about it, I hope that everyone stays alert for those people with “ulterior  motives.” Yesterday I traveled to pick my daughter up from school, and at one point I turned left down a road. Well, after turning, I happened to notice a figure running out towards my car kind of fast. I wasn’t sure what was on his  mind, but then I heard a “bang” noise, much like someone “punching” my car. This was done towards the “back end” of my vehicle, and I was immediately “livid.” I stopped the car “in the middle of the street” and got out to confront this man. He was a younger guy, but dressed rather raggedy, as though he might actually have been homeless… He was leaning against the wall of the building holding his stomach, and my very first words to him were “Just WHAT is your problem?”  He responded by saying, “You hit  me, you hit me.” Before he could even get fully into his dialogue, I interrupted him to say, “Nice try, but in order to hit you, the impact to my car would have had to been near the “front” and NOT the back… “You will  not sucker me into getting any money, but I  AM about to hit you FOR REAL…” I pointed my finger in his face and said, “You have  about 5 seconds to get out of here and if I still see you then you will see a side of me that my kids never knew existed.” He got scared quickly, and started apologizing a lot. He then realized that the longer he stayed there the angrier I got, so he started running while still shouting out apologies. For a man who “supposedly” got hit by a car he seemed to be able to run “rather fast.” I am not mentioning this story to get any kudos or a pat on the back. The truth of the matter is that what I did was actually “very foolish.” This guy could have had a gun or he could have had friends waiting around the corner for me. I was “extremely” mad and upset, and I didn’t think before acting. I  just have a problem with people trying to run a scam game on me and thinking they can just get away with it. The bad part about this was that I was actually mad enough to literally punch the fool out of him, and I should never have gotten to that level. I apologized to my kids and I took time to think about the situation later. I am mentioning this today because during this time of year there will be many “scam artists” out there trying to get your money through devious methods. It is important every time someone tells you that you “won a great prize” and then ask you for your credit card number to think about it before proceeding. It is important whenever you are in a mall and someone bumps into you to make sure you check your wallets and purses, because that is a prime example of how pickpockets work. It is important to note that whenever someone is selling you a great necklace or watch on the street that those goods just “might” be stolen from someone or someplace. ‘Tis the season to “be careful” and I would hate to see anything bad happen to good people. Yesterday I was tired from a long trip, and I was vulnerable. I did not make the right decision and I got lucky this time. I have to do better next time. I hope that you are all careful with whatever you do this holiday season. They are out there “waiting” for us… We need to be prepared… Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer….

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Patti Labelle and Brett Jolly in concert

Patti Labelle and Brett

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“The killing of 2 NY policemen… How tragic was this?”)

This is a truly sad story to hear, but for those of you who don’t know this story yet, 2 New York police officers were ambushed and shot by a crazed vigilante “allegedly” over the deaths of unarmed Black men. The officers, who had families, were picked “at random” and targeted because of the “They got us, so let’s get them” mentality. Now police departments all over are on alert because they don’t know when the “next crazed individual” may want to confront and massacre them. If you are unfamiliar with the full story,  you are more than welcome to check it out at the link below:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/22/police-departments-on-high-alert_n_6364524.html

Now the police are going to want to know if this man had been “provoked” into committing this action from some protest or “call to arms.” I can understand that logic to a certain extent but I think it would be more beneficial to focus on the overall picture here. First, this man “obviously” had some mental issues. There are reports that he shot his own girl friend and had attempted to take his own life before. How is it that an “individual as sick as this” was able to even “obtain” a gun? I have said several times before there needs to be stronger gun laws and background checks and we need to ensure that guns are not so easily obtainable (we also need to hold people accountable for the guns they purchase). While it is true that many people can “lie about their circumstances,” rarely will you find that a mentally troubled individual will be able to “easily” hide his or her misguided intentions. Crazy people will often say and do crazy things. This guy actually posted on social media pages and even got 200 likes… Also, I hope that people will not derive the wrong message from this. Others may feel inspired to “imitate” this man’s legacy, but that will not solve anything. There should be “no hatred” for police… Yes, some of them do need better training, but that should “not” be a reflection on “all” policemen and we need to realize that. Finally, we should not allow our anger to overshadow our “common sense.” The LAST thing we need now is a more “stressed out” police department. We also don’t need a more stressed out public in “fear” of being targeted either. At this point, it is no longer “their problem… It is OUR problem…” I hope that the public can make changes through “non violent” means. I’m also hoping that authorities can find a better way to apprehend unarmed Black people without having to “shoot and kill them.”  I realize that some people will take offense to this statement but hopefully the truth will set us “all” free… I believe it is time for a “new awareness” to take place, and if we can manage to check our emotions we all might be able to make significant strides for the betterment of “all.” We REALLY need to change the “gun laws…” How many more incidents like this can we bear without taking action? Malls, schools and the public in general are no longer safe for any of us. If someone posts something “troubling” on the internet, then the last thing we need to do is “ignore it.” By reporting it you may end up saving the lives of people very close to you. I thank you for reading my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer. Please make it a great one.

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Brett Jolly and Verdine White, bass player for Earth, Wind and Fire

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