Alphonse Trent

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Alphonse Trent led one of the most fabled of the territory bands, an outfit that barely recorded (just eight titles) but was quite legendary during the 1930's. Trent learned piano as a child, played with…
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Alphonse Trent led one of the most fabled of the territory bands, an outfit that barely recorded (just eight titles) but was quite legendary during the 1930's. Trent learned piano as a child, played with local bands in Arkansas and started leading his own bands as early as 1923. After working with Eugene Crook's Synco Six in 1924, he became its leader. The orchestra lasted for ten years, mostly working in the South and the Midwest but also appearing at the Savoy Ballroom in New York in the late 1920's and playing on steamboats. After a few years out of music, Trent put together a small band in 1938 that toured throughout the Midwest before he eventually retired. Among his many notable sidemen through the years were Stuff Smith, Snub Mosley, Charlie Christian (in 1938), Harry "Sweets" Edison, Mouse Randolph and Peanuts Holland. Alphonse Trent's Orchestra recorded four selections in 1928 and two apiece in 1930 and 1933 that hint at the power and vitality of the band's infectious music.