Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Red Bass guitar photo shoot with Nancy”)

Nancy is a real gem to work with. She has a really great spirit about her and she was very receptive. We had a great day for shooting pictures and she came just as lively as she could be. We decided to try shooting around the historic area of the art museum here in Philadelphia and I was very pleased with the results. I hope you enjoy her pictures. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.


Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“A scam to watch out for”)

The other day I got a phone call from a number that I did not recognize. A man was on the other line and he sounded a little belligerent. He told me that he was calling in reference to my Visa account. He said that he wanted to address my delinquent payment. A red light came on in my head and I decided to contest him on his issue (because as far as I knew all my cards were up to date payment wise). I then asked him “Which Visa are you referring to?” He then told me that by law he couldn’t mention that over the phone. I then told him to give me the last 4 numbers of the account. He said that he was not allowed to give out those numbers over the phone either because he wasn’t sure that I was the actual account holder. He insisted that I give him my account number instead. I sensed “the mother of all scams here.” I notified him that I would check all my Visa accounts and if there are any delinquencies I would call the phone number on the back of the card and address the issue with the company. I then told him that if I find no delinquencies then I was going to report this phone number to the authorities for fraud. For a little bit more he tried to debate me on giving him my card information. I told him that if he were standing right in front of me I would deck him immediately for trying to swindle me out of my money. He then “hung up.” To try to get the name of the company, I called the number right back and the phone didn’t even ring. I just kept hearing small “beeps.” Obviously this was a scam and today I just wanted to alert others. There are a lot of people out there with gimmicks designed to mislead you and trick you out of your money. If ANYONE demands your account number NEVER give it to them until you can verify who they are and who they represent. Even though this idiot didn’t get me he probably got other unsuspecting people. Be cautious, be alert and be aware. Never hesitate to question anything that doesn’t feel right. By the way, when I checked all my cards there were no delinquencies whatsoever. 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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Singer James Ingram (“One hundred ways”) with Brett Jolly. In the background are Sheldon Reynolds (formerly of Earth, Wind and Fire) and Johnnie Croom (former music director for Boyz II Men)

James Ingram

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“The intro song of our PBS special featuring the 3 Degrees”)

I found this online and wanted to post today. Years ago I performed for a PBS special that was shown a lot on television. It was in celebration of the music from the “Sound of Philadelphia” and there were many big name celebrities that I had to play for. I am part of the orchestra and I am wearing a grey tuxedo just like everyone else. However, I am the only one standing while playing (and of course I have my signature red bass guitar). The first sighting of me comes at the 36:00 second mark, but closeups of me can be found at the 2:38 mark and the 2:45 mark. This is only the introduction song and if you search well enough you can probably find the rest of the program as well. I hope you enjoy the clip. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Why are we losing so many performers to drugs?”)

Cuba Gooding Sr. was a great singer with a very rich voice. He was the father of the actor Cuba Gooding and he was 72. Most people may not remember his name but might be able to place his voice through his music. He was part of a group


years ago called the “Main Ingredient.” He was the lead singer. Recently he was found in his car stumped over and not responding. Even though his cause of death had not yet been determined alcohol and drug paraphernalia were found in his car with him. I had never worked with him before, but I remember about a year ago being at a rehearsal spot and listening to him next door. He was rehearsing  his own set of musicians for a show and he was “brutal.” He kept stopping the band constantly and we could hear him chewing his band out loudly for not playing the music  correctly. He screamed and he cursed at them a LOT. I remember telling my own band members that if he ever hollered at me like that we would have a major battle going on.  By the way, here is the story of his death:

Even though the cause of his death is still undetermined the fact that drugs were found in his car could very well signify that he died a drug addict just like so many other star performers. Why is that? There is a long list of entertainers who died from drug overdoses, such as Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Rick James, Michel Jackson and Prince, just to name a few. What is it that propels stardom and drugs? When I first started out touring with a big name artist I was really excited. I was playing for Jean Carne and I was as happy as I could be. However, after about 4 days on the road reality caught up to me. We were doing 2 shows a night, and often I would get in around 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning to my hotel room, only to have to wake up at 5:00 or 6:00 just so I could catch the next flight to the next destination. After only the 4th day of touring I found myself performing at some outside venue called the Riverbend theatre in Cincinnatti, Ohio. We were opening up for George Benson and while I was playing my head kept nodding and jerking up and down. I was “literally falling asleep onstage while standing up playing.” It was a horrendous feeling. From that experience I actually began to understand why entertainers turn to drugs. Even though I never did it, drugs could possible help people deal with lack of sleep and energy. I had to make an adjustment immediately. I never tried drugs (and never will) but I had to make sure I got sleep in whenever I could after that. Now if I travel anywhere to play I make sure I get my rest in whenever I can. Drugs are probably a crutch to most entertainers who need them to get through. It would be nice if rising stars could be educated to the effects of what drugs can do to you. Until that happens there will probably be even more stories with similar results. My condolences to the family of Cuba Gooding Sr. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“A crazy idea…or is it?”)

The other day I was in the grocery store and this guy came in shouting to everyone that he had the answer. Of course, most of the people in the shop were from the neighborhood and just about everybody already knew how “off” this guy was. I remember playing basketball against him many years ago when he actually had much more sense than he does now.  Nowadays people in the area will drive by and see him walking the street talking dramatically to “absolutely no one.” Unfortunately he remembered me and when he came into the store he said, “Jolly, I got the answer for handling terrorism.” Of course, all ears were tuned in to him just out of curiosity alone. His plan? Simple… He said that we should release all the prison inmates doing time for murder and tell them their records will be “wiped clean” if they go into the terrorist territories and risk their lives to kill them. His rationale behind this was based on the fact that the guys in prison already know how to kill and most of them would love a second chance to get out of prison doing what they know best for their country. According to this guy, many of them would “gladly risk their lives” to kill the enemy “legally.” All the guys in the store started laughing at him (because they already knew he was crazy) and they had already pretty much figured his idea would be a crazy one. But was it really? As crazy as it sounds could something like this actually work? As it is now, taxpayer dollars are being paid to house, clothe and feed inmates every day. Prisoners are rotting away in jail cells with absolutely no way to make up for their debts to society. If you asked most of them to go into enemy territory to kill terrorists, most of them would probably “jump at the idea.” Those inmates who know they are going to be in jail for a long while probably don’t think they have much to live for anyway. Under those circumstances, who wouldn’t want to take those chances? After this crazy guy came up with the idea I actually began to ponder if something like this could actually work. From the prisoner aspect it could work out fine for them. They would have nothing to lose. However, I found that the biggest problem would not lay with them, but rather with “us.” The honor and integrity of our soldiers would be greatly imperiled if they had to fight for our country alongside with “known felons.” The felons would not have anywhere near the amount of training that our soldiers would have and it would be disrespectful to give them the same status. The morale of our soldiers would never be the same. Plus how would the inmates even get close to the area where the terrorists are? If our soldiers can’t get close what makes you think the inmates will have a chance? For a moment there I almost thought that this crazy guy might have found his long lost sense, but after thinking this over I realize that he is only just as crazy as he has always been. However, I do believe that inmates should have a way to pay their debts off to society (other than just wasting away in prison). Until an alternative has been found things are sure to remain the way they are. There are probably other reasons why this would not work as well but I just can’t think of them right now. The crazy guy said that he was once in jail himself (that remark surprised no one). I do believe that we should do our best to turn negatives into positives. If there is any way that we can utilize the prisoners debt to society and make it into something positive then I am all for it. Until then, this crazy guy’s ideal will not carry much weight. 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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Jill Scott in concert with Brett Jolly on bass


Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Red Bass guitar photo shoot with Cheryl”)

I always love it whenever I get to do a photo shoot with Cheryl. She has tons of great ideas and she always looks for ways to top any previous pictures we have done. A lot of people love her pictures and she is excellent at modeling. For this session we decided to do something different and shoot pics on the roof. Needless to say I made sure I looked behind me every time I stepped back. We also did a couple inside. This was a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy the pictures. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.


Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“I got a visit from Norman Connors last night”)

At my Wednesday Night Events we have so much fun, and most times the audiences are packed. Last night proved to be no exception as we had a special event entitled “Funk Night.” We played some of the best “funk music” ever released on radio and people loved it. During the middle of the night I happened to see a figure come into the establishment with a signature looking hat on his head. I waited until he got in close range and then discovered that my good friend Norman Connors came in town to visit me. For those of you who may not know him,  he is responsible for this big R&B hit from 1976:

During the break Norman and I sat down together and talked about the industry as it is now. He mentioned that he was involved in the industry at the right time. During his era he “actually made money” from his music (and a lot of it). He said that a lot of those big name record labels are now gone (They have sold their rights to the other companies that are left). Because of the timing of when he was at his peak musically, he can now live comfortably for the rest of his life. He says he only does about 50 shows a year, and that is more than enough for him. However, he did say that he feels sorry for today’s new generation of stars. Due to the fact that people can now  download just about any song online for free, companies are no longer making the huge amounts of money they used to make selling records. They try to give the impression to the public that some of today’s artists are making millions in sales but that is just no longer true. He also said the quality of music in this generation has gone down drastically thus making things even worse. He said things are so bad that he can’t even produce a good artist anymore because the industry seems to have gone in another direction. Back in the day, the record labels were being led by people who knew music. Nowadays the heads of most labels only know about business. They have no clue. They couldn’t determine a hit song if their lives depended on it. This makes it bad for true music lovers to hear quality promoted music. Musicians used to come into the recording studios and play their instruments. Now engineers may try to find a loop online and use that without ANY musicians being in the studio. Before having to get back onstage I asked Norman what he felt could possibly save the music industry. He didn’t have an answer. The silence actually said a lot more then words could. Maybe we all should pray for the revitalization of music. I would like to thank Norman for coming out last night and I would like to thank you for checking out my Daily Thought today and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.


Skype: Brettjolly1

Norman Connors, Brett Jolly and saxophonist Benny Barksdale

Norman Connors Benny and Brett

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“I do not like gangster rap, but…”)

Yes, I am from a whole other generation and I know that. I cherish the music I was brought up on and I love music with artistry and creativity. Since I am a professional musician I often have to listen to all types of music, even from genres that I don’t particularly appreciate. Someone asked me the other day to choose my favorite gangster rap song, just to see if I could even find one. Well, I am not a big fan of thugs calling women derogatory names and promoting violence or drugs. With this in mind I thought it would be darn near impossible to find a rap tune that I would even consider. However, when it comes to the music of this tune with the vocal performance (along with really great arrangements) along with the expressionism, I actually found this song to be a delight. I cannot understand all the lyrics so I’m sure there is something in this that I will disapprove of, but until I can figure it out I will give this song the “thumbs up.” I never like to be so “closed minded” that I won’t give something a chance. When you are no longer receptive to new things you discontinue to grow. Please don’t get me wrong. I am NOT an advocate for rap music with a lot of negativity to it. It doesn’t mesh well with my peaceful existence. However, if I want to expand my horizons then I will at least say that I stretched out beyond my own comfort zone on this one. Truth be told, I think this is a very fun song. Today for my Daily Thought I would like to present to you my favorite choice for gangster rap song. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.