Born in St. Louis, MO, (October 24, 1920) he is best-known for his excellent work as a supportive bassist with Duke Ellington (1948-1955), Wendell Marshall was the cousin of Jimmy Blanton.
After attending Lincoln University and serving in the Army, he worked for a few months with Stuff Smith. In 1948, he moved to New York and joined Mercer Ellington. Soon, he was with Duke and his seven years touring with Ellington gave him a strong reputation.
Marshall freelanced after 1955 (including recordings with Mary Lou Williams, Art Blakey, Donald Byrd, Milt Jackson, and Hank Jones, among many others) and eventually was working steadily in Broadway pit bands. Wendell Marshall retired from music in 1968.
He passed away of colon cancer at the age of 81 in his native town of St. Louis, on February 6, 2002.
Scott Yanow -All Music Guide