Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“One more musical legend”)

There is one concert that I truly wish I could have experienced. I appreciate all genres and customs of music (as long as it is creative and artistic). While I may have felt in danger attending his show (drug usage was usually rampant among his many fans) it would have been awesome to see this artist perform live. He is truly a legend and his music is legendary. I invite you to Google his music and I don’t think you will  be disappointed at all. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and today I would love to present to you the immortal sounds of the legendary Bob Marley.

 

 

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Can we actually give peace a chance?”)

The recent terror that took place in Paris should be a “wake up call to the world.” No matter how much the human race may advocate peace, we often become our own hindrance to achieving this utopian concept. Taking someone’s life just  because you are angry only “fuels the inadequacies within you.” I realize that there are two sides to every story, and I would not be surprised if the people actually engaging in these terrorist acts feel as though they are the real victims. I can understand that, but when it comes to violence we are “all” victims. Instead of just killing people who probably aren’t even aware of your cause  to prove your point, why not try the use of diplomacy instead? Dead men no longer have stories to tell, and death is such a final answer to everything. I would rather “hear” about your cause as opposed to becoming a victim to it. I’m sure others would agree. The first step needed in moving forward is for us all to stop focusing on the past.  There has been enough wrong to “implicate everybody” and if we can’t find the resolve to “let go of it” then we are all doomed to “re-live it.” There are many different religions, faiths, customs, and races on this planet. Just because we may not understand the “other way of living” doesn’t mean that we can’t at least “respect it.” Due to this past tragedy in Paris, the death toll is now about to rise, and I can guarantee you that there will be “innocent lives lost in the process.” There are people out there who are ready and willing to die for what they believe in. However, once you are dead then your story is “over.” The fight “doesn’t always have to be physical.” There is enough social media out here for you to make your point to the world.  There are no winners in war, and if we do believe that we are superior to all other life forms on this earth then we need to at least “show it.” We also need to keep ourselves in prayer, because there is no telling what is about to happen right now. Through the aftermath of all this, I just hope that we all can find a way to “heal….” It should be a desired goal, even if at this point it may seem somewhat unrealistic. “Wherever” you are, I hope your day is without incident and you can feel the peace that others may not be able to experience today. 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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picture up top is Billy Paul and Brett Jolly in concert in Tunisia, Africa

 

 

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“The Manhattan Transfer”)

This group was very big years ago. They never had any flashy moves onstage. They were not teenage heartthrobs. Their main attraction was just their “voices.” They had some of the best harmonies you will ever hear and they could bring out the light in an ordinary song. I have not heard much from them in years, and I don’t even know if they are still touring. However, when it came to singing, they knew how to work it. This particular song is one of my favorites by them. I love their presentation, and the musical arrangement of it is extraordinary. Plus this song features what I think is one of the “best guitar solos ever recorded.” The man who played it is a “monster player.” For those of you who do not know a lot about this group, I strongly suggest you Google them. Today I would love to present to you, the “Manhattan Transfer,” doing an all time classic, “The Twilight Zone.”

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“A bad experience this past weekend”)

Had to tell this story that happened to me over this past weekend. I was performing at a gig on Saturday in a neighborhood that featured a lot of bad elements. I don’t want to be one to stereotype but I could tell it was one of those areas where drugs and crime flourished. The good thing about the gig was that I could see where I parked my car through the window. While setting up I looked out and saw some man walk up to my passenger window and look inside. I became suspicious immediately and decided to wait a minute before deciding anything. Then he walked away, only to return seconds later and lean against my car window (on the passenger side) while he appeared to be manipulating my mirror. I immediately realize that there is no way he should have his hands on my car, so I gave my guitar away to a band member while I “rushed” out the door. In my mind, he was up to some form of vandalism and I had “no intentions” of being a victim. As soon as I rushed up on the guy, he turned and looked at me as though he knew he was caught in the act of something. That’s when male ego got the best of me and I socked him hard, causing him to fall back against my car and fall to the ground. He was bleeding badly, and then his friend decided that he wanted to fight me, so he rushed me and pushed me against a car. I immediately realize that now is the time to defend myself, so I squared up into fighting stance while he attempted to throw a punch. The problem was that he didn’t have enough behind it to connect, whereas I “did.” I socked him as well, and then it was a full blown melee in the street. At one point I had about 3 guys who wanted to fight me at the same time. While I diverted my attention to one guy, the other sneaked up behind me to sucker punch me from behind. It was time for me to sock him as well. I told them to give me one man at a time, and then I would beat “them all down in order.” It didn’t take a lot of time for the police to arrive to sort out the mess. The officers knew automatically that I was not the instigator of this situation and they quickly dispersed the crowd. I am writing about this today because even though I feel proud of myself from a male ego standpoint, I could have gotten myself or someone else killed. I was incensed from the moment I saw him messing with my car and “all rationality left me” at that point. When I got back into the gig the audience actually “applauded” me (which felt good) but I know in my mind and heart that I need to fight smarter in those types of situations. The good news is that I am still alive today (a little sore though… I feels like I played a basketball game or something). One of the guys I hit had to be rushed to the hospital and I firmly believe that the others would have followed suit if we had fought long enough. Truth be told, I am too old to be fighting in the streets, but I just “lost it” when I felt someone was trying to violate me in regards to my car. The guys in my band care calling me names like “Champ, Mayweather and Muhammed Joll-y”. Today is a new day and I am blessed to still be here. We all have moments in our lives where unexpected things happen. Sometimes it is difficult to think rationally when the world seems to be crumbling down around you. I acted on instinct, and for the sake of my family and friends I need to do better. I readily admit my shortcomings and hope to learn and improve from this experience. Thank you for allowing me to share this with you today. 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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Former Heavyweight champ Mike Tyson with Brett Jolly in background

Mike Tyson

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Sounding off on the music industry”)

Had a television interview yesterday with a really good friend of mine who is also in the music business (and even was a DJay on radio) named Ali Hackett. It was filmed downtown at Phillycam in Philadelphia and for the session we just talked normally and candidly as though the cameras were not even rolling. Since we both were in the business we touched on all sorts of different related topics (and stories). One of the more interesting topics we addressed was the difference between the music of yesterday and the music of today. I had to be frank in my answer, but to me music will always be “expression.” Great music is music that is heard but yet it is also “felt.” Back in the day people recorded with no computers. There were real live musicians who played everything with feeling, emotion and identity in the music. A lot of times they would experiment with different chords in the studio and find something even greater musically. The engineer would record as many people as he could fit in the studio. Nowadays songwriters will go searching for a “loop online,” which is a pre-recorded musical interlude that will play forever while you add your vocals to it. Most times that loop will never change, and the artistry of the song suffers from it. Now I do realize that I am from another generation, and my views may conflict with those who disagree, but we all have to admit that the industry has changed drastically due to “money.” If you don’t have to pay musicians, then of course that means that you get to save more money. The industry is more concerned about “marketing” the song to make it a hit rather than creating a good quality recording. Most times they don’t care how bad it sounds just as long as they can do their promotion to sell it. Ali asked me how we could change the industry back to where it should be and I just told him that these people who promote bad music only do so to make a buck. If we (the public) continue to support these people monetarily then we are only “contributing” to the deterioration of the music industry. We have “choices…” Right now, conventional radio is still the front runner in what people listen to, but there are plenty of “great internet radio stations” that are on the rise. Soon the industry will bleed to death from it’s own “self inflicted wounds.” All we need to do is “find” those great stations online. Most of them are without commercials and a lot of them won’t play the “same artists” and the same songs “every hour.” If you have a good phone and an auxiliary cord for your car then you can find a “plethora” of great options. Believe it or not, I am not trying to bring down the radio industry at all. I have just heard all the complaints from people who are “fed up with it.” The stations only play what money can buy and this is a business. However, when the businesses don’t cater to the needs of the consumer then they are subject to the same repercussions as any other industry from their actions. I love listening to other stations and getting other choices. If you dare to venture, you just might like it too… Whatever your situation, I just hope that you are happy with your own choices… 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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Lalah Hathaway, Kim Burrell and Brett Jolly onstage

Lalah Hathaway and Kim Burell

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“My experience with Lalah Hathaway, Kim Burrell and Wynton Marsalis”)

This is a follow up to my gig the other day for the “Marian Anderson Awards” here in Philadelphia. The night went flawlessly and everyone had so much fun. The honoree for this evening was Wynton Marsalis, the legendary jazz artist who has won Grammy’s for classical music as well as jazz. There was an array of talent that night and I apologize for not being able to remember all the names, but it was my distinct pleasure to play for gospel great “Kim Burrell” and jazz/R&B great “Lalah Hathaway.” At sound check Lalah walked in saying hello to everyone and asked us all to forgive her because she said she was coming down with a cold. Considering the way she sang, “ALL vocalists” should be blessed to come down with that ailment. We rehearsed her songs, and she simply said that she was “very pleased” with the music. Next up was Kim Burrell, and rumor had it that she could be “very demanding” when it comes to her music (which is not easy to play or figure out…Her music is “very” intricate). As bad as Anita Baker’s reputation was, Kim’s was said to be “worse.” Well, that night we started off with one of my favorite tunes of Lalah’s, and that song was entitled “When your life was low.” It was done “perfectly” and the crowd loved it, but we were not finished there. She went into doing one of her father’s classic songs (Her father was the legendary Donny Hathaway) simply entitled “Little Ghetto Boy.” I loved doing this song because I could stretch out on it and at least 4 times in the song I even had small bass guitar solos. When Kim Burrell came on we started off with her “very intricate song” entitled “Father I stretch.” We knew that if this song wasn’t played perfectly for her we would hear about it. Well, after all was said and done, Kim was “ecstatic.” She loved it. This night was truly magical, and backstage we also had a beautiful fun moment with Wynton as he had his horn and started playing for us privately in the corridor. All is all, this event was priceless, and it was my honor to be a part of it. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share my experience with you today, and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

Wynton Marsalis (in the middle), Brett Jolly and Stan Brisbon

Wynton Marsalis

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“My personal music video tribute to veterans”)

Today, November 11, 2015 is Veterans Day here in the United States. As unwanted as war is, there are times when it is necessary, and we would like to acknowledge and thank those who sacrifice of themselves so that the rest of us can live ordinary lives. Recently I asked for veterans to send me pictures so that I could make a music video with my own song (that I wrote and performed) in honor of them. The Mims Foundation for veterans asked me to put it all together and this was the end result. Now I have to augment and shorten it to a commercial format, which hopefully will be done soon. We would like to say “Thank you” to all our service men and women, and I only hope that this song and video is worthy of our gratitude to you. Thank you again, and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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