One of the great legendary territory bands, the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra was highly rated (if barely documented) during its prime years. It was co-led by altoist James Jeter and tenor-saxophonist Hayes Pillars. They had been members of Alphonso Trent's big band when it broke up in 1933. The JeterPillars Orchestra took up where Trent had ended. They became the house band at the Club Plantation when it opened in 1934 and used it as their homebase for over a decade. With such sidemen through the years as trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, bassist Jimmy Blanton, drummers Jo Jones, Sid Catlett and Kenny Clarke, guitarist Floyd Smith and tenor-saxophonist Jimmy Forrest, the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra was an important training ground for up-and-coming jazz players. The band toured the Far East in the late 1940's before it finally broke up. The Jeter-Pillars Orchestra only recorded four selections (for Vocalion in 1937) so it is difficult to fully evaluate their music.
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