Marshall was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He played in his father's swing group and in R&B bands while in high school. He moved to New York City in 1956, developing his percussion style under the influence of Max Roach and Art Blakey. Two years later he played in the quartet of Charlie Mariano and with Toshiko Akiyoshi; after two years' service in the Army, he returned to play with Akiyoshi again in 1965. He worked with Mike Nock for a year in the house band of the New York nightclub The Dom, and also worked with Stan Getz and Sam Rivers, and accompanied Dionne Warwick on tours.
In 1967 he was a member of The Fourth Way, a fusion group which included Nock, Michael White, and Ron McClure. This group toured the San Francisco Bay Area through the early 1970s; after this Marshall played with Jon Hendricks and The Pointer Sisters.
Marshall underwent heart surgery in 1984, temporary sidelining his career, but he continued to perform on the recorder. He then taught at the San Francisco School of the Arts, and issued his second release as a leader in 1999. In the 2000s he worked on the San Francisco Arts Commission.
Marshall died of a heart attack on Wednesday, September 7, 2011.
Marshall is survived by his wife, Sue Trupin of San Francisco, CA, and his five sons: Andre and Alcide Marshall of Oakland, CA, Jeru Marshall of Baytown, TX, David Marshall of Boston, MA, and Andre Charles of San Francisco, CA. He was also blessed with five grandsons: Andre and Khari Marshall of Oakland, CA, Gage and Trexton Marshall of Baytown, TX, and Zabrien Rodriquez of Baytown, TX.
- Dance of the Sun (Timeless Muse, 1977)
- Holy Mischief (1999)
With Toshiko Akiyoshi
- Long Yellow Road (Asahi Sonorama, 1961)
- Toshiko Mariano Quartet (Candid, 1961)
With Kenny Burrell
- Sky Street (Fantasy, 1975)
With John Handy
- Where Go the Boats (Warner Bros., 1978)
- With Eddie Harris
- Sounds Incredible (Angelaco, 1980)
- Exploration (Chiaroscuro, 1983)
With Bobby Hutcherson
- Waiting (Blue Note, 1976)
- The View from the Inside (Blue Note, 1976)
- Highway One (Columbia, 1978)
- Conception: The Gift of Love (Columbia, 1979)
With Ahmad Jamal
- Genetic Walk (20th Century, 1975)
With John Klemmer
With Art Pepper
- San Francisco Samba (Contemporary, 1977 )
With Archie Shepp
- California Meeting: Live on Broadway (Soul Note, 1985)