WAYMAN TISDALE, THE WAYMAN TISDALE STORY


 “If you want to stand out, go to where the ground is fertile and where there are not many flowers.” That’s the home brewed wisdom that Wayman Tisdale’s father passed on to his son and exactly what Tisdale did, first as a record-breaking college athlete, Olympic gold medalist and 12-year career player in the NBA then later, beginning in 1997, as an accomplished and beloved smooth jazz musician. Fittingly, “The Wayman Tisdale Story” (Rendezvous Records)  celebrates his life in two ways. A 13-track retrospective culls the most infectious tunes from Tisdale’s eight R&B-based jazz albums featuring collaborations with keyboardist George Duke, saxophonist Dave Koz and, surprisingly, country star Toby Keith. Though it’s a fine sampler and includes an unreleased cut with Jeff Lorber, “Slam Dunk,” these Tisdale albums can be heartily recommended in full – “Way Up” (2006), “Rebound” (2008) and his last recording, “The Fonk Record” (2010), a delirious smorgasbord of Prince-like funk and hard-partying beats.

There’s also an affecting documentary that comes alive whenever Tisdale is on screen. He was musically gifted from childhood, perhaps a prodigy, who taught himself to play bass guitar and turn it into a successful lead instrument. Fellow bassist Marcus Miller reveals that Tisdale was left-handed and because bass guitars were designed for right-handed players, Tisdale simply turned his around and learned to play chords and phrases upside down. Written and directed with affection by Brian Schodorf and with testimonials from peers like Michael Jordan, the film profiles a man whose shining smile and positive attitude instilled good feelings to those around him.

Wayman Tisdale passed away on May 15, 2009 at the age of 44 after a two-year battle with bone cancer. Remembering his friend, Koz says that Tisdale was always “driving the party bus and [being around him] was one great hang.” Thankfully, the sizzle that is Tisdale’s music will live on and if you listen – and you should – be sure to turn it up. Way up.  (CD: 13 tracks; 56:43 minutes/DVD: 66 minutes; 16:9 aspect ratio, 2-channel stereo)

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JAZZ IN SPACE: WAYMAN TISDALE, THE WAYMAN TISDALE STORY

Saturday, December 3, 2011

WAYMAN TISDALE, THE WAYMAN TISDALE STORY


 “If you want to stand out, go to where the ground is fertile and where there are not many flowers.” That’s the home brewed wisdom that Wayman Tisdale’s father passed on to his son and exactly what Tisdale did, first as a record-breaking college athlete, Olympic gold medalist and 12-year career player in the NBA then later, beginning in 1997, as an accomplished and beloved smooth jazz musician. Fittingly, “The Wayman Tisdale Story” (Rendezvous Records)  celebrates his life in two ways. A 13-track retrospective culls the most infectious tunes from Tisdale’s eight R&B-based jazz albums featuring collaborations with keyboardist George Duke, saxophonist Dave Koz and, surprisingly, country star Toby Keith. Though it’s a fine sampler and includes an unreleased cut with Jeff Lorber, “Slam Dunk,” these Tisdale albums can be heartily recommended in full – “Way Up” (2006), “Rebound” (2008) and his last recording, “The Fonk Record” (2010), a delirious smorgasbord of Prince-like funk and hard-partying beats.

There’s also an affecting documentary that comes alive whenever Tisdale is on screen. He was musically gifted from childhood, perhaps a prodigy, who taught himself to play bass guitar and turn it into a successful lead instrument. Fellow bassist Marcus Miller reveals that Tisdale was left-handed and because bass guitars were designed for right-handed players, Tisdale simply turned his around and learned to play chords and phrases upside down. Written and directed with affection by Brian Schodorf and with testimonials from peers like Michael Jordan, the film profiles a man whose shining smile and positive attitude instilled good feelings to those around him.

Wayman Tisdale passed away on May 15, 2009 at the age of 44 after a two-year battle with bone cancer. Remembering his friend, Koz says that Tisdale was always “driving the party bus and [being around him] was one great hang.” Thankfully, the sizzle that is Tisdale’s music will live on and if you listen – and you should – be sure to turn it up. Way up.  (CD: 13 tracks; 56:43 minutes/DVD: 66 minutes; 16:9 aspect ratio, 2-channel stereo)

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