Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Paul, Howard (Raymond)
Paul, Howard (Raymond), guitarist (7-string); b. Petersburg, Virginia, 15 November 1960. His family moved to the Atlantic City, NJ area in 1962. His father was Lee. E. Paul (1927-2001), and his mother was Bernice Greensburg Paul (1933-1995). He has two brothers, (Jonathan Jay, b 1958; audio engineer, and Douglas, b 1965).
He received his first guitar as a gift at age four. For his sixth birthday present, he began private lessons with Johnny Martezia. Johnny, a renowned Atlantic City jazz guitarist, spent three years teaching Paul basic technique, reading, and theory. At age ten, Paul teamed up with alto sax player David MacKenzie, drummer Mark Masirus, and bassist Rich Kurtz to form a jazz quartet. The combo played standards and performed at school events and private parties. They often had guest performers from the music-rich Atlantic City area, including Peter Erskine, George Mesterhazy, Buzzie Renn, Jay Corre, and Bobby Martin. At thirteen, Paul began performing professionally with the Joe Aguruso Trio in the Atlantic City area. He attended Mainland Regional High School and was participated in the New Jersey All State Jazz Orchestra as a sophomore. He worked in the Jerry Vigue Big Band, performing regularly at Atlantic City's famed Steel Pier, and was a member of the Tom Geekas Big Band, performing at dinner theaters in the Wildwood, NJ and pit orchestras throughout the region.
Paul searched for more in-depth instruction, and spent several years studying from Philadelphia's Frank DiBussolo and NYC's Howie Collins, Barry Galbraith, and Alan Hanlon. Paul and MacKenzie both took accelerated academic courses and graduated from high school together at age 16 (six months ahead of schedule) so they could begin full time professional music careers. They maintained their own jazz quartet called Moment's Notice for the next several years, but chose separate routes in the soon-to-be-casino rich Atlantic City market. At 17, Paul's first permanent post-high school job was as the adjunct faculty instructor of applied guitar at Atlantic Community College in Mays Landing, N.J. He took over the position from jazz guitar great and mentor Tommy Ferguson. In addition to teaching at the college, he maintained thirty private students at two local music stores.
He joined jazz singer/pianist Judy Cahill in 1978, and spent the next several years working in her trio/quartet in and around Atlantic City. As part of the trio, and along with a rhythm sections including Chris Columbo (drums) and Count Lewis (organ), Paul performed with or opposite jazz luminaries including Carmen McCrea, Chris Conner, Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Cole, Roy Ayers, and Thad Jones. He also worked occasionally with casino orchestras lead by Paul Mann, Dick Paul, and Ronnie Ponzio.
From 1980 to 1984 Paul attended The University of North Carolina at Greensboro while working the Atlantic City music scene during holiday's and summers. During the school year, he performed as a member of The Bert Massengale Orchestra, a society band based in Greensboro and traveling throughout the southeast. He completed his BA in Political Science in 1984 and returned to the casinos.
In 1986, Paul decided to leave Atlantic City and the music scene. He enlisted in the Army in Philadelphia, went through basic training at Fort Dix, and was selected to participate in Infantry Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning, GA. He spent the next ten years in the Army, rising to the rank of captain, and holding two company commands and a detachment command. During his tenure, which included assignments to Desert Storm (Saudi Arabia/Kuwait) and Restore Hope (Somalia), he managed to continue performing jazz in nearly every imaginable local, including performances in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Germany, France, and Belgium. During the first day of his assignment to Savannah's Hunter Army Air Field in 1991, he met and performed with bassist Ben Tucker and pianist Joe Jones at Hard Hearted Hannah's.
Paul spent his last year in the army (1995) assigned to Atlanta's 3rd Army Headquarters. His ten year military career awards included three Meritorious Service Medals, four Army Commendation Medals, five Army Achievement Medals, Somalia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia Campaign Medals, and combat patches from Third Army, Tenth Mountain Division, and XVIII Airborne Corps. He was awarded the rank of Major in the Army Reserve upon leaving active duty.
Paul's music credits include performances with The Caesar's Atlantic City Casino House Orchestra (1979-80), The Juilliard Jazz Ensemble (1978), The Bert Massengale Orchestra (1981-84), The U.S. Army Band-Europe (1987-89), the Savannah Symphony Pops Orchestra (1999-present), and the Coastal Jazz All Stars (1996-present). He has performed throughout Europe and has studied guitar with jazz greats including Tommy Ferguson, Frank DiBussolo, Alan Hanlon, Howard Collins, and Barry Galbraith. Since 1992 he has led his own trio and quartet in Savannah, and worked continually as a guitarist with bassist/jazz legend Ben Tucker. From 1999 though 2002 he led the house band at Savannah's Mercury Lounge, and at Savannah's Apres nightclub from 2002-2003, and is a recurring featured performer in Savannah's annual jazz festival since 1998. He is a regularly featured headliner at Hilton Head Island's Jazz Corner.
Paul recorded exclusively for Manion Music, Inc., a "muzak" company with contracts through Savannah arranger/pianist/engineer David Duckworth from 1997-2001 for. In 2001 he recorded a self-produced trio CD, and a duo CD with seven-string guitarist Jerry Sims followed in 2002.
In 1996, Paul began his association with the world's foremost guitar maker, Robert Benedetto. Paul coauthored a column for the Just Jazz Guitar Magazine website with Cindy Benedetto form 1998-2001, and co-producer the Benedetto Players guitar concert series from 1998-2002. Paul performs on a custom made Benedetto 7-string archtop guitar. Since 1997 he has performed repeatedly as accompanist for 7-string guitar virtuoso Jimmy Bruno at nightclubs, concerts and master-classes throughout the Southeast. He is a regularly contributing writer and reviewer for Just Jazz Guitar Magazine.
Paul is married Patricia Tanzer Paul, a partner in the Savannah law firm of Oliver Maner & Gray, and an accomplished clarinetist. Their son, Andrew was born in 1997.