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Morning Song – Jumpin’ At The Woodside

June 24, 2017

Love B. Woods owned a lot of rooming establishments in mid-20th century Harlem. His Hotel Theresa was known as “the Waldorf of Harlem” and is today an officially designated New York City landmark.

By contrast, the Woodside Hotel—which had its best years when the Theresa was still a segregated business catering only to whites—was torn down decades ago and lives on only in Count Basie’s signature song, “Jumpin’ At The Woodside”.

Throughout the 1930s, the Woodside was the preferred place to stay in New York for Basie’s orchestra, as well as many other touring musicians and Negro League teams. Depending on whether you were talking about the scene, the dance music, or what was going on in the rooms upstairs, “Jumpin’ At The Woodside” could have a number of meanings.

Listening to Basie and his orchestra (solos by Earle Warren, Buck Clayton, Lester Young and Herschel Evans) swing, I suspect he meant all of them at once.



From → Music

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