b. 2 February 1904, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, d. 23 May 1988, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Originally a banjo player, Paul switched to tenor saxophone during the 30s. He was with the Eureka Brass Band from 1940 and joined Kid Thomas Valentine’s Band in 1942, continuing his association with Valentine for many years, and playing with him at Preservation Hall in New Orleans into the 80s. From the start of the 60s he was a member of Harold Dejan’s Olympia Brass Band, and his remarkable, broad vibrato imparted a special warmth and majesty to the time-honoured traditional New Orleans dirges and hymns. Echoes of players like Paul can be heard in the work of the 60s avant garde saxophonists, such as Archie Shepp and Albert Ayler, whose roots were always deep in the rich New Orleans sub-soil of the jazz tradition. The work of the originals, not least Dejan and Paul, has a depth and emotional effectiveness that prevent it from dating, despite reaching back nearly a century.
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