During the winter/spring tourist season of 1999, at the age of 24, Paul W. Jacob was working as a bartender at the Van Dyke Jazz Club in South Beach, Miami. The house pianist was Eddie Higgins. Jacob had taken to writing jazz poems on cocktail napkins behind the bar. One night, during his break, Eddie asked him what he was doing back there behind the bar besides mixing cocktails; Jacob told him that he was writing poems. Eddie asked to see them, and Jacob handed him a stack of short square napkins inscribed with words. The pianist took them and walked away.
The next day Jacob got a call from the general manager of the Van Dyke saying that Eddie wanted to speak with him, and would he mind if he gave the pianist his phone number. Jacob said sure. A little while later Eddie called to tell him that he was recording at his home studio. However, after he was done with his own project, Eddie offered to dedicate an hour of studio time to record Jacob reading his poems while Eddie accompanied him on piano. Jacob ran out of his apartment, took three buses, and eventually arrived at the studio.
This recording, Miami Session, is the product of their unrehearsed, one-take, jazz and poetry collaboration, with all of its raw imperfections and beatific precisions. It is being released in this very limited edition as homage to that moment in time, when two artists, Eddie, a world renowned jazz pianist, and Jacob, a young writer coming into his own voice, collaborated together in the midst of palm trees and enduring pastel sunsets.
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