philip paul

Paul was born and raised in New York City. He began his professional career while he was still a teenager, playing at the Savoy Ballroom with such musicians as Arthur Prysock and Buddy Johnson’s Big Band. Paul has lived in Cincinnati since 1951, when he came west to join the band of Tiny Bradshaw, which was then ensconced at the famed Cotton Club across the river in Newport, Kentucky. Bradshaw was recording for King, which led to Paul’s tenure as a session musician at the King studio.

During his time at King, Paul drummed on more than 350 records for King and two of its subsidiary labels, Federal and Bethlehem. He played on a wide variety of blues, R&B and jazz records working with such artists as Bull Moose Jackson, Wynonie Harris, Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, Freddie King, Little Willie John, Trini Lopez, Lynn Hope, Tab Smith, Smokey Smothers, Clifford Scott, Rufus Gore, Tiny Bradshaw, Titus Turner, Milt Buckner, Eddie Clearwater, Tiny Topsy, Hank Marr, Lula Reed and others.

In addition to his extensive session work with King, Paul worked for years as one-third of the Roy Meriwether Trio, recording a pair of albums with Meriwether on Columbia. He also toured with jazz artists including Jimmy Smith, Nat Adderly and Herbie Mann and toured the U.S. and Canada with George Weins’ Newport Jazz All-Stars.

Philip Paul made his first album as a leader in 2003, the aptly named It’s About Time. In 2002, he received a Lifetime CAMMY Award from the Cincinnati Enquirer for his contributions to the music and culture of Cincinnati.

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