Alphonse Trent

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Alphonso Trent)
Alphonse Trent
Also known asAlphonso Trent
Born(1902-10-24)October 24, 1902
Fort Smith, Arkansas, US
DiedOctober 14, 1959(1959-10-14) (aged 54)
Fort Smith, Arkansas, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, band leader

Alphonse "Alphonso" Trent (October 24, 1902 – October 14, 1959) was an American jazz pianist and territory band leader.

Early life[edit]

Trent was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas on October 24, 1902.[1][2] He played piano from childhood and worked in local bands in Arkansas through his youth.[3]

Later life and career[edit]

He led his first band in the mid-1920s, possibly as early as 1923.[3] In 1924 he played with Eugene Cook's Synco Six, and then took over leadership of the band, which played until 1934, playing mostly in the American South and Midwest, as well as on steamboats.[3] Despite success in New York around 1930, Trent chose not to work further on the East Coast.[2]

He left music in the mid-1930s but returned with another band in 1938.[3] His sidemen included Terrence Holder, Alex Hill, Stuff Smith, Snub Mosley, Charlie Christian, Sweets Edison, Mouse Randolph, and Peanuts Holland.[3] As leader, he recorded only eight sides: four in 1928, two in 1930, and two in 1933.[4][3] He died in Fort Smith on October 14, 1959.[2]

His small recorded legacy has made him a somewhat obscure figure today, but the sophistication of his arrangements and the precision with which they were executed inspired awe in contemporaries[5] - one such, Budd Johnson (quoted by Gunther Schuller via The Jazz Review) stated:

Let me tell you about Trent... They were gods back in the twenties, just like Basie was, only many years ahead of him... They worked nothing but the biggest and finest hotels in the South... They were years ahead of their time.[6]


  1. ^ "Alphonso Trent (1902-1959)". Red Hot Jazz Archive. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Robinson, J. Bradford (January 13, 2015), Trent, Alphonso [Alphonse] (E.), Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.A2276709
  3. ^ a b c d e f Yanow, Scott. "Alphonse Trent". AllMusic. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  4. ^ "Alphonso Trent and his Orchestra". Red Hot Jazz Archive. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  5. ^ "Alphonso Trent (1902-1959)". Red Hot Jazz Archive. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  6. ^ Schuller, Early Jazz, 1968; p.299