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Paul Jost Sings His Life

After a long, diverse career, a musician of many instruments now concentrates on one: his voice

Paul Jost

The first time you hear Paul Jost’s new album Simple Life you think, “Who is this guy?” He sings with quirky phrasing. He sometimes talks and often whispers. He also wails, like when he scats across “Blackbird” in a headlong dash. His mannerisms are disarming because he is so believable. He sounds real. His lived-in, slightly frayed voice belongs to someone who has been around the block.

Jost, now 57, has been a professional musician (primarily a drummer) since he was 12. His long list of former employers includes Billy Eckstine and Dr. John. He is a composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, and teacher. His compositions have appeared in advertising jingles and also on recordings by Carl Perkins and the Band.

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Thomas Conrad

Thomas Conrad has a BA from the University of Utah and an MA from the University of Iowa (where he attended the Writers Workshop). He taught English at Central State University in Ohio, then left the academic world for the private sector. His affiliation with publications such as JazzTimes, Stereophile, The New York City Jazz Record and DownBeat has enabled him to sustain active involvement in two of his passions: music and writing.