John Marshall (UK)
#Soft Machine, Colours

Paiste Artist Since Jun 1970


13" Signature Traditionals Medium Light Hi-Hat
21" Masters Dark Dry Ride
20" Masters Dark Crash Ride
18" Alpha Thin Swiss Crash
20" Signature Traditionals Light Flat Ride
8" Signature Bell
10" Signature Dark Energy Dark Energy Splash Mark I


Born London, England.

Private lessons with several teachers, including Johnny Russell, Jim Marshall,Allan Ganley and Philly Joe Jones. First regular engagement was with Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, 1964. Then with the Graham Collier Sextet, 1965-70, during which time he also played with John Surman, John McLaughlin, Dave Holland, Mike Westbrook, Graham Bond Organization, Joe Harriott, Indo-Jazz Fusions, Keith Tippett’s Sextet and Centipede, Alan Skidmore and others. 1969 he was a founder member of Nucleus, which won first prize at the Montreux Festival the following year and played the Newport Festival and the Village Gate in New York. At the beginning of 1969 he also became a regular member of the Mike Gibbs Orchestra.

1971 he left Nucleus to join the Jack Bruce Band; 1972 joined Soft Machine. During the 70’s he also played with many leading American and European musicians, including Larry Coryell, Gary Burton, Mary Lou Williams, Ronnie Scott, Tubby Hayes, Ben Webster, Milt Jackson, Roy Eldridge,John Taylor,Norma Winstone,Volker Kriegel,Gordon Beck,George Gruntz’s Piano Conclave et al. In 1973, at the Baden-Baden Free Jazz Meeting, he met and began playing with Charlie Mariano, Jasper van’t Hof and Philip Catherine. 1977 he joined Eberhard Weber’s Colours until it disbanded at the end of 1982.

During the 80’s and into the 90’s worked with the Gil Evans Orchestra, NDR Big Band in Hamburg, Ian Carr, John Surman - Quartet and Brass Project, Kenny Wheeler (quintet and Big Band), Uli Beckerhoff, Anthony Braxton, Manfred Schoof, Joachim Kühn, Michel Portal, John Taylor, Alan Holdsworth, Norma Winstone, Gordon Beck, Jeff Clyne, Arild Andersen and John Abercrombie among others.

In addition, studio work, drum clinics, as well as lectures and teaching on workshops in Germany (Trier, Bremen and Weimar) and England (Guildhall, Royal Academy of Music and Wavendon). Was a Melody Maker Poll Winner in 1973 and 1974. Has worked with many singers including Sarah Vaughan, Leon Thomas, Norma Winstone, Annie Ross, Elaine Delmar and Karin Krog.

Activities continued, both nationally and internationally, with John Surman - plus projects with Steve Swallow, Andy Sheppard, Uli Beckerhof, John Abercrombie, Arild Andersen, Michael Gibbs, John Etheridge, Theo Travis, Joe Sachse, Dieter Glawischnig and others. Tours and recording with bass player Arild Andersen and Greek pianist Vassilis Tsabropoulos - second ECM album,Triangle, February 2004.

2002 til present: new project, Softworks, with other ex -Soft Machine members Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper and Allan Holdsworth. Album, Abracadabra, plus festivals and tours in USA, Japan, Italy.... This morphed into The Soft Machine Legacy with John Etheridge replacing Allan and, after the deaths of Elton and Hugh, with Theo Travis and Roy Babbington.

Apart from SML other current activities include projects with John Surman, Dieter Glawischnig. Etheridge/Andersen/ Marshall and Joe Sachse Trio