Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Brett sings a great classic last night”)

We have a lot of fun at my Wednesday night events. Last night was “packed” with people and the most important objective is always to have fun. There were a group of women at a table celebrating some kind of cause so they wore these funny ears. I had no idea what the cause was but I told them that if they could wear them then so could I (at the risk of MAJOR embarrassment).  Needless to say, in this video you can see me looking absolutely ridiculous but having fun. This particular video was taken last night and I am singing an old time classic that just about everyone should know. The microphone could have been a little louder for my voice but that is a small thing. My guys in the band are professional musicians who are dedicated to the preservation of live music. We do not want to see this art form die, and that is why this event has become so successful. Many places work off doing CD’s or tapes. We are one hundred percent “live.” I host the event and I will joke with people a lot. This event is simply entitled “The Wednesday Night Grand Slam” and it is held each Wednesday at the Crab Tavern (201 North Macdade Blvd in Darby, Pennsylvania). Everyone can come up to sing (whether they are good or not) and we will play whatever they want to hear (we even take requests). The food is great and it is a mature adult crowd. If you are ever in the area I hope you can manage to attend. For today, here is a video of me singing one of Marvin Gaye’s most popular tunes. 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 (“The coolest and best version of the national anthem ever?”)

I have heard “many” renditions of the national anthem. I have heard people forget the lyrics and I have heard some really bad singing on some occasions. I have heard some awesome versions as well. Whitney Houston’s version was great as well as Beyonce’s. However, when it comes to the version that I like the best, this one wins it for me “hands down.” I don’t know if anyone could top this and it was so great to hear. Please check out my choice for the “coolest version of the national anthem ever.” 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 (“What makes this tune SOOOO awesome”)

You don’t have to even be a fan of Marvin Gaye to appreciate his contributions to the world of music. Granted, he had his troubles during his lifetime, but he always managed to “channel his issues into his music.” You can say what you want, but Marvin was a “true artist.” That means that Marvin “wrote and sang what he felt.” This particular classic is great in “so many” ways. First, you can feel his words and lyrics through how well he sings. His words are “clear and absolutely heartfelt” (as though he really meant it). The flavor of this tune is phenomenal, and most of it comes through his singing (The instrumental part is good by itself but without the amazing vocals this song would not have as much of an impact). The message is clear and strong. After hearing this you “know precisely what is on his mind.” In fact, the message couldn’t be “any clearer.” Finally, if you listen carefully, Marvin sang and put his “own background parts” on this song. In other words, all the background you hear is actually Marvin himself singing. If you listen to the track, the background parts are nothing short of “incredible.” I can’t even imagine how he “thought up” the intricate parts to fit this song. All in all, this tune was “masterfully done.” You don’t have to like it to appreciate it. The one thing that worked for me was that “whenever I felt like things were bad I could always listen to a Marvin Gaye song and know that in his world he felt worse.” However, his energy was always reflected through his music, and that is why songs like this  will live forever. This song is “Awesome” and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 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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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“The musical legacy of Marvin Gaye”)

One of my favorite artists of all time is Marvin Gaye. I considered him to be a “true” artist because he wrote whatever he “felt.” Whether it was the war, love, or even about his divorce, Marvin kept it real, and it exemplified in his music. He had no rhythm at all and couldn’t dance, but he didn’t have to. His voice was like magic and he could hit the weirdest harmony notes in his songs that always seemed to just barely fit. He got high a lot and his life was often troubled, but that is what a lot of great artists seem to go through. They transfer their anguish into their music, and masterpieces are born as a result. Marvin was actually killed by his father after an altercation with his mother. I can just imagine what kind of song he would write now if he was able to come back to us and sing about it. He had “many” classic hits, but if I had to choose one for my absolute favorite, I think it would have to be “this one.” This is one of the shortest songs ever recorded, but the message carries a major impact. if you are not a Marvin fan, i invite you to Google his music and get re-aquainted with his artistry. This is my favorite Marvin Gaye tune, and it is simply entitled “God is my friend.” Hope you enjoy and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

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Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Duets… and my choice for the greatest one of all time..”)

Someone asked me the other day what tune I thought was the best duet ever recorded. I had never really given that much thought. As many great duet artists that have been promoted I still feel as though there have not been enough to go around. Duets are always great to hear and I wish the music industry would promote more of them (I’m sorry, but Rihanna and Kanye West will not do it for me). There were some great tandems, though, such as Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, Rick James and Teena Marie, Lionel Richie and Diana Ross (“Endless Love” was a great classic), and Ashford and Simpson (just to name a few). However, when I think of the vocal collaboration, the harmonies, the musicality, the arrangements and just the pure “energy” that was ever put into a duet performance, my absolute “favorite” of all time would “have” to be “this” one. I would like to share with you my own personal choice for greatest sung duet ever… Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell…

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 (Topic “Did Robin Thicke steal “Blurred Lines” from Marvin Gaye?”)

Recently I had a discussion with someone over Robin Thicke’s hit song “Blurred Lines.” I believe it has been listed as the heavy favorite for “song of the year.” However, I saw several news stories that question whether or not Thicke actually “stole” the song from the late Marvin Gaye. The articles I read claimed that parts of Marvin Gaye’s song “Got to give it up” were actually “sampled” by Thicke for his song. In one of the articles, there was even an alleged “expert” who said that the “bass lines” were in fact stolen from Gaye. I am not sure what classifies someone as an “expert” in identifying parts of songs, but I would like to say that I have something called “perfect pitch.” With perfect pitch, I can hear certain elements of songs and know the parts without having to pick up an instrument to verify it. My perfect pitch allows me to play just about “everything” without having to practice “anything.”  I do not like it when “anyone” decides to steal music from another, although it happens a lot more than you might think in this industry. I have played (and even sung) BOTH songs many times, and “know” the similarities  and differences between the two tunes too well. First, I will say that the tempo and the drum beats are “extremely” similar. However, that much is “not enough” by itself to constitute any plagiarism on Thicke’s part. The melody lines of each song are “no where near close” to each other, so in that regard there is also no theft. The lyrics are definitely not the same, so Thicke is safe there as well. The chord pattern/structure is also “not” identical by any means. The two songs are also in two different keys. If you played them both concurrently in the same key at the same time, they would still “not” match at all. Finally, no matter what the so called “experts” say about the songs, the bass lines are “absolutely” different. I have played the bass lines to both, and I promise there is “no” bass similarity between them. The styles of the two songs are “definitely” similar, but copying a style is NOT the same as copying the “song.” I didn’t detect “ANY” sampling of Gaye’s tune “Got to give it up” (unless, they sampled the drum part, which wouldn’t make much sense, because similar drum tracks “can” be used for different songs). I have heard that Thicke is actually suing Gaye’s family over whether or not they believe there is copyright infringement. The fact that “he is suing them” means that even “he” realizes the closeness in the way his tune sounds. When I work with artists to put a song together, I often ask them to give me a particular song and artist whose style they would like me to “emulate.” Emulating a style is not the same as stealing a song. Most times to emulate a song I would focus on a drum beat and tempo that would be similar to the track and I would focus on the “sound quality” of each instrument, but I absolutely would “not” steal any aspect of the music. To me, I do believe that Thicke wanted to have a song that copied the “style” of Marvin Gaye’s song. I have no doubt about that in my mind, because when you hear it, the style is absolutely there. However, when it comes to “individualized” components of the song, the similarities end there. I have no idea what will come out in court, but I do know this much: Robin Thicke did “NOT” steal Marvin Gaye’s song “Got to Give it up.” If he did, I would be the very FIRST to say it. However, judges in courts may not have the same ear as me and good lawyers have ways of “twisting the truth.” Time will tell on this one. I guess we will have no other alternative but to “hurry up”… and “wait.” Hope your day is a great one.

 

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Aretha Franklin and Brett Jolly onstage

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