by Chief Musician John Parsons
On Nov. 1st the tour brought the band to Austin, TX, my day started with a short walk down to the Hilton to what is considered the ultimate convention for drummers. The Percussive Arts Society International Convention happened to be in town at exactly the same time as the Commodores! Percussionist and former Navy Band member Chief Musician (ret.) John Emrich, introduced me to the Remo representative, Bruce Jacoby, who helped me resolve an issue I’d been having with a piece of equipment. After watching a performance by Afro Bop, led by Naval Academy Band drummer, Joe McCarthy, it was off to the meet the bus for our trip to the next city.
Temple, TX was the next concert city. Also located in central Texas, Temple was founded as a railroad town in 1881 by the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad. It was named after former company employee, Bernard Moore Temple. Performing at Temple College was somewhat of a reunion for Musician 1st Class Nicholas Cooper, lead trumpet player for the Commodores. Dr. Colin Mason, Director of Jazz Studies at Temple, matriculated with MU1 Cooper at Northern Arizona University. They played together in the Northern Arizona big band from 1993 to 1994. Performing for an almost capacity crowd, the Temple concertgoers were clearly jazz lovers. One of the most enthusiastic crowds of the tour to date, the electricity they provided the band propelled the Commodores to another great evening of big band jazz.