Normally on Wednesday nights I would be performing at our open mic event, but currently here in Philadelphia we are experiencing extremely frigid cold temps. The weather people said that for last night and today we would face temperatures that we had never experienced before. I heard it was even worse in places like Chicago. Unfortunately we needed to cancel last night for the health and safety of others. When God puts in conditions like this it is always best to pay attention. Even though our event is fairly successful, I didn’t mind taking a break. I am supposed to play somewhere tonight and I sincerely hope that is canceled too. However, there are plenty of past events that have yet to be shared. This gentleman’s name is simply “Mister” and a lot of times he will come up and perform this classic by the late Bobby Womack. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
I just heard yesterday that legendary singer James Ingram died at the age of 66 from brain cancer. I worked with him years ago and he was a lot of fun. At one point he told the people around us that he, my brother bill and I were all brothers (We all looked alike so people actually bought it). He told me some stories about his dealings with Quincy Jones and other things. He mentioned that his hit song “One hundred ways” was really a demo tape and that he wasn’t officially signed to Quincy. His story is one of those that will bring out the reality of the music industry. James was a nice guy, but you could tell that if someone came up to him wrong that he had the tendency to go ballistic on them. Years ago there was an r&B group called Zingara and they had a hit tune years ago entitled “Love’s calling.” Most people don’t even know it, but James Ingram actually sang the lead on that track. Also, James had a brother, Philip Ingram, who was part of a legendary group entitled “Switch.” Switch had 3 great albums and then disappeared. I remember one day I actually got a call from Phillip because he wanted me to consider becoming a Jehovah’s witness. That never happened but we actually spent more time talking about the group Switch and discussing why they broke up. It was a conversation that I will never forget. While James had success with his career he was still not at the point he wanted to be. It seemed as though the music industry would only let him go but so far. He was a great talent that will be missed… Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
James Ingram and Brett Jolly (With Sheldon Reynolds from Earth, Wind and fire and Johnny Croom, former musical director for Boy’z II Men, Alliyah and Genuwine in background)
I can honestly say that I have been very fortunate. In my musical career, I have had the honor to play behind many different celebrities. It doesn’t make me a celebrity at all , but it gives me the experience of working with them. After performing with KC and the Sunshine band this past weekend some people asked me that question, and i figured I would relate to it today. First off, most people who are considered celebrities are really no different than you or me. These people are just as ordinary as you can imagine with the only difference being that they are in the limelight. While others may rank them high they have just as many problems as the rest of us. Some of them are really nice, and some of them are “not so nice” but a lot of people are that way. I have been fortunate enough to meet up with people like Bon Jovi, Olivia Newton John, Gerald Levert, Jill Scott, Chaka Khan, Teddy Pendergrass, Billy Paul and Rick Springfield. I have had dinner with Jeffrey Osborne, hung out with Lionel Hampton, Socialized with Eric Benet, and I have personally witnessed the “nice tattoo that Janet Jackson has on her rear end (smile). I don’t get impressed with them singing, even though there was one person whose voice actually got to me. Russel Thompkins, the lead vocalist for the Stylistics, effected me greatly when I heard his voice in the monitors. This was mostly because his voice sounded so different. It was weird to actually hear him sing but I got adjusted to it really quick. Now I don’t think it matters to me at all who I play for. My job is to make sure my bass notes come out right and it is important that I have fun playing the music. The money is great but for me it also has to be fun. When I watched Beyonce sing I was not star struck at all. In fact, I kept wondering why there were so many taped sequences going on. I watch concerts with a different kind of eye now. I look for things that most people don’t. Hopefully for me I will have even more opportunities to perform for more celebrities. It is fun and it is great for my resume. If you are unfamiliar with my resume, just go to WWW.Brettjolly.com. Thank you so much for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Patti Labelle in concert with Brett Jolly on bass guitar
I was performing down at the Hard Rock Cafe this past weekend. I am usually there most weekends. One time when I was there we had a guest celebrity jam in with us (That was Rick Springfield who did the song “Jesse’s girl”). Well, this particular time I was singing a Barry White song… (“Can’t get enough of your love”) and next thing I knew I was hearing background noises. I looked to my right and saw KC singing with me. I had not seen any pictures of him in a long while. His hair was darker (if that was his real hair) and he was a little bit heavier than what I remembered. Still, it was cool that he decided to come up on my song. When we finished I went into the bass line for “Do you wanna go party?” which was one of the songs he sang. He joined in with us and we did the entire tune. It was fun. KC and the Sunshine band were the headliners for the Hard Rock and they decided to join us after they were finished. At one point we had a “ton” of musicians (especially horn players) onstage with us. Their whole group came up (except for their bass player, who decided he just wanted to chill and let me play… I had a nice chat with him afterwards). It was a cool time and now I can add KC and the Sunshine band to my musical repertoire/ resume. For those of you who don’t know, He also had hit songs like “Get down tonight, Get lifted, Keep it coming love, That’s the way I like it, and I’m your boogie man. It was a fun evening, and I hope you don’t mind me sharing the experience with you. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
KC is the one in the center playing percussion on this song. He is wearing black and hit the percussion with a stick. His singer Maria is the one to the left of him. You can see glimpses of me on the right in the back. Other members of the Sunshine band are with us onstage.
I really do love my car. It is a grey Nissan Cube (2014) and it has done well for me in my travels. Just recently my car went over the 100,000 mile mark. I should have suspected something was about to happen with it. Lo and behold, my transmission went out. I wasn’t sure of what was going wrong, so I immediately took it to a place nearby. They examined my car and got some oil for it and then charged me $40. As soon as I drove it off the lot the car was worse. It finally broke down for good about a block from my house. That day I had to do a “LOT” of walking. It felt like I had played 5 games of basketball (something I had not done in a very long time). I called AAA (it was a very good thing that I was a member) and I had the car towed into the service area. They called and informed me that it will cost me $4,300.00 to fix the transmission. At first I wasn’t sure of how I felt. 4 grand is a lot of money, but I need my car. People told me that I should have just bought a new car, but I like not having any car payment. Regardless, currently my car is still in the shop and I have a loaner from them that I am driving. I had gigs Wednesday night and Thursday and I have to play tonight, tomorrow and Sunday as well. I thought I took very good care of my car. I changed the oil regularly, so I was very surprised when this happened. Needless to say, I am glad that at least I had the money to pay for this car. However, it is quite an ugly feeling to have to deal with this. I am blessed that I didn’t have an accident on the highway while this happened. I will keep my spirits positive and keep looking forward. If you have ever had any transmission problems with your care I’m sure you can relate to how I feel right now. God is good, life is great, and I will continue on…. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Singer Jill Scott in concert with Brett Jolly on bass guitar
We had a really nice time last night, and of course, the talent that came through was fantastic. This gentleman’s name is Damon Keith Williams. He is very popular among the ladies and they love to hear him sing. He decided to do a Teddy Pendergrass song. 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.
Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Chris Brown, R Kelly, Richard Dreyfus, Dustin Hoffman, Steven Seagal, Russel Simmons, Kevin Spacey, R. Kelly, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump. This is only a “small” list of celebrities who at some point have been “accused” of sexual assault. These are men of power, and while everyone should be innocent until proven guilty, these men are also looked at as being powerful within their industry. How do you fight assault from men with power? From a woman’s standpoint it may be difficult. Women want to be viewed with equality, but some men view women as being weak and often submissive. If the men feel that they can take advantage, then most times they will. The “Metoo” movement has been instrumental in bringing out harassment and abuse, but the main issue is how far it can go. Bill Cosby is currently in jail, but what about everyone else? Most times it is not easy to prove sexual assault, and evidence should be important in every criminal case. Some say that we should just go on the word of the accusers, but would that be fair to the men? I do believe that “some” women out there might fabricate a story for her own personal reasons. If we relied on just testimony then a LOT of men would probably be in jail right now. So what needs to happen? First, I say that the scales should be equal. Women need to rise up to be more in power also. We need more women producers, more women in politics, and more music and move directors. Right now everything feels like a male dominated field and unfortunately that gives a lot of men the feeling of power. Oprah got there. Beyonce too. There is room for more, but first women have to reach for higher goals of attainment. Once the scales are balanced then women can work with other women. Women also have to begin realizing the power they have as well. The human race cannot survive without you. Women need to combine, unify and work together to change the structure of our environment. It can happen. Hopefully it will. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Brett Jolly and Kathy Sledge (Lead singer of Sister Sledge.. “We are family”)
We all should know that dating anyone under a certain age should be considered illegal (Well, we “SHOULD” know this…). However, once someone is of the proper age, should there be a limit on difference of years? For instance, I have heard stories of couples who may have been 30 or even 40 years apart in age. Even though many would consider that to be inappropriate does anyone really have the right to tell them no? If a woman who is 19 years of age forms a relationship with a man 40 years of age what can we honestly say about it? Granted, there is a “huge” difference, but if they are happy together then can anyone find anything wrong with that? If the girl left him for another man (around her age) and then she got mistreated or abused then would that have been a better scenario for her? Love is weird. Many people can tell you how to live your life, but no one can guarantee you happiness trying to live up to their standards. Even if you dated someone of a different race, you automatically know that someone is going to have an issue with that as well. For some strange reason there are still people out there who feel you should stick with your own race. So should there be limits placed on who you can love? Our diversity is what makes us so special, and sometimes our eyesight (which many consider to be a huge blessing) can be our biggest curse (because we tend to focus more on what we see). True love should be based on more “inner qualities.” If you love someone on the inside, then that is special (because on the outside, we all change with time). Aside from dating someone who is illegally a minor, we are basically free to romance anyone. If you are in love today, I hope you love someone you would also consider your friend. It should make for a better relationship. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Brett Jolly with Lynda Carter (The “original” Wonder Woman)
Holidays are nice for most people. Some of them get to take a day off from work. Will most people focus on the concept of the holiday? Some will, but time has a way of depleting the meaning of it. Martin Luther King was an advocate for peace. He was also a “great” voice for the oppressed. He was a peaceful fighter for those who would often be considered underdogs. He spoke out for sanitation workers. He peacefully fought for equal rights for Black citizens (and he won). Some people have questioned whether or not he should have a holiday in honor of him. I say that he did more for people than Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. When you manage to change the way people think then I believe you should be considered for a holiday. In order to get the full essence of King you may need to Google him. My father, Elton Jolly, used to travel with him and even gave speeches with him at some of his events. If Martin Luther King were alive today, what do you think he would do? I honestly believe that King would be tackling immigration and the concept of the border wall. King would do so peacefully. He would meet with the President to discuss solutions and try to get the government open again for the 800,000 workers no longer receiving a paycheck. There are very few Black leaders left in this country. Many of them have been disabled. Jesse Jackson used to be a tireless crusader for Black rights, but they have managed to shut him down. Al Sharpton still is, but he is no longer as strong as he used to be. Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey were never really considered. Barack Obama would be a great champion but I don’t think he wants to go back into the political arena again. Due to the current absence of Black leadership it is important to remember the legacy of Martin Luther King. His tenure was important for White people as well as Black people because he changed the way we “all” thought. Even though his birthday was officially on the 15th of January, today marks the day we all honor him. I hope you honor his legacy as well and happy King Day to everyone. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Al Sharpton and Dick Gregory with Brett Jolly to the right on bass guitar
The main thing about being accomplished in any field is to give back to others. There are many who might aspire to be like you. I recently saw a post whereby a young man wanted some advice on how to play bass guitar. He was starting out and wanted some pointers that could help him. I responded to him stating a couple of things. I told him that it all depends on what type of musician he wanted to be. If he is someone who prefers to read charts then he needed to get lessons on reading music. I also let him know that depending on what type of bass player he wanted to be there might not be a lot of gigs for players who read charts. Currently I don’t read music at all and yet I play “a lot.” The reason that I believe I play a lot is because I have a strong ear for music. I can listen to a song and learn the bass line to it without picking up my guitar or practicing with it. This is a gift called “perfect pitch.” I told this young man that you don’t need to have perfect pitch to play music, but you do need to have a good ear. I believe you can train yourself to have a better ear. Music is “heard.” In order to be a better musician you need to be able to “hear it.” I also stated that being a better player comes from your sense of touch on your instrument. For instance, most times I never look down at my guitar in order to play it. I can “feel” where I need to place my hands in order to play a note. It helps me tremendously because I can concentrate on other things while playing. I can talk to someone while playing. I can watch the game on the big screen television while playing. I can concentrate on remembering the lyrics to a song while I am playing. The final piece I told this young man was to “practice in the dark.” That way he would rely “less on his eyesight” and more on his ear and touch. I told him that each musician is different in his or her own way and that your real greatness depends heavily on your investment into playing. Don’t limit yourself and believe you can accomplish anything. You might be the next star in the making… Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Life Jennings in the studio with Brother Bill and Brett Jolly