Marsh came from an affluent background: his father was the cinematographer Oliver T. Marsh (1892-1941), and his mother Elizabeth was a violinist. Mae Marsh, the actress, was his aunt.
He was tutored by Lennie Tristano, and along with Lee Konitz became one of the pre-eminent saxophonists of the Tristano- inspired Cool School. He was often recorded in the company of other Cool School musicians, and remained one of the most faithful to the Tristano philosophy of improvisation, the faith in the purity of the long line, the avoidance of licks and emotional chain-pulling, the concentration on endlessly mining the same small body of jazz standards
Wide Open Jazz and Beyond
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