The Koch Marshall Trio

Toby Arrives

(The Player’s Club/Mascot Label Group)

Under the label’s The Players Club imprint, this collection immediately rolls into earshot with a Medeski-meets-Jimmy Smith groove in the shape of Toby Arrives. I’d be very surprised if Milwaukee guitarist wasn’t a fan of Harvey Mandel. The fabulously-recorded Hammond has as fat a sound as you could wish without become muzzy. Some nice curling axe phrases with a smidgeon of fuzz dance over the rolling sound. Dylan Koch is an on-the-money drummer with a style that might have been lit by the MGs? He’s played with many people I know – Robben Ford, Jared James Nichols, Jon Cleary. Toby Lee Marshall is the B3 driver and played with Lonnie Brooks in his early days. Also he spent time with Bernard Allison’s band.

Funk Meat is all damped uppity chords and squeals over a steady backdrop. Some fruity double stops jump out of the sound. Heed The Boogaloo is a much funkier beast, with Albert Collins-style axelicks dancing over the key half-expect James Brown to stroll on. Let’s Get Sinister put me in mind of Richard Holmes with its shadowy-alleys slouching tempo and almost Larry Carlton tone. Koch Snr is apparently a Fender ambassador and spins some pinched-notes out of this number. He cleverly imbues his playing here with a hint of going-out-of control BUT of course he never is, twisting into warmer waters as soon the melody starts eying the door. An exciting approach…

Mysterioso takes an almost jungle tempo and splayed arpeggio’d guitar chording into a spacey-cum-tropical ambience, allowing a different type of playing by all participants. The kind of tune you might find on a Steve Hunter album, you guitar conneisseurs. Enter The Bats should be the theme tune to our TV programme here Loose Women. It’s a rapid shuffle again hinting at A Collins Esq. Some nice stops and an easy flow to the lead lines..I suspect a smidgeon of love for BB King lurks somewhere in here. At 1:45 the organ takes over with chord vamping on the guitar tracking the changes. Boogie Yourself Drade is maybe an in-joke tune title is a frantic boogie and sounds like a set closer. It’s like an amphetamine’d John Lee Hooker going for broke. A brief leap to the fourth and then we’re back on the tonic, squeezed notes leaping around the Baby Please Don’t Go beat. Sin Repent Repeat is real winner and Greg digs out the bottleneck but to my ears doesn’t ape any particular slide guitar icon. A nice change of sound for a closing tune.

OK, not everyone is in the market for an all-instrumental blues-jazz trio album but this is as accomplished and colourful as any such artefact might sound.

Pete Sargeant



(Thanks to the Mascot crew)

You can listen to the new song 'Toby Arrives' in this article.

The Koch Marshall Trio's new album 'Toby Arrives' is released on Friday 23rd February 2018 on The Player's Club/Mascot Label Group.

For more information visit the band's official Facebook page here:


Koch Marshall Trio