351

Wayman Tisdale: Way Up!

Jeff Winbush By

Sign in to view read count
Wayman Tisdale: Way Up! When a rookie, no matter how fierce his reputation was in college, hits the hardwood floor of the National Basketball Association, he's got to step up his game or he's going to get his head handed to him by the older pros who aren't impressed by flashy moves and big egos.

For twelve seasons in the NBA, Wayman Tisdale brought his "A" game to arenas across the country. In 1995, he released his debut jazz album, the appropriately titled Power Forward, which bullied its way to #4 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart. Now on his seventh album, Tisdale is far removed from his days as a rookie—he's an accomplished professional. On Way Up!, he grooves right along with such veteran jazzers as Kirk Whalum, Bob James, Jeff Lorber, Jonathan Butler and Dave Koz.

"Let's Do It Again" and "Get Down On It" make for a funk double-team that gooses Way Up! into a fast break which never completely slows down, merely downshifting into a lower gear. At all times Tisdale's bass keeps the groove locked down. Darren Rahn's energetic saxophone solos on the first two tracks nicely complement Tisdale's playing.

"Shape of Your Heart" and "Conversation Piece" features keyboards by Jeff Lorber and Bob James, respectively, and these songs indicate how Tisdale has grown as a team player. His playing complements, instead of overwhelms, these two virtuoso old pros. Would Tisdale have been as confident in his own skills eleven years ago? It's hard to say, but without a doubt he is now a fully mature artist in his own right.

Tisdale describes his music as "old school cool" which is well reflected in his cover of the old Sly and the Family Stone chestnut, "If You Want Me to Stay." But he knows when to chill and let the music speak for itself as his bass shimmers on the closing track, "Sunday's Best," featuring Kirk Whalum's sax and Jonathan Butler on guitar and vocals.

Early on, it was legitimate to wonder if Wayman Tisdale wasn't just a basketball player dabbling with playing jazz bass. Way Up! removes all doubt and establishes Tisdale as a seasoned pro in his own right and one of the brightest talents in music today.

Track Listing: Let's Do It Again; Get Down On It; Shape of Your Heart: Conversation Piece: If You Want Me to Stay; Sunset Dreams; It's A Good Day; Tell It Like It Is; My Son (A Song For Bubba); Way Up; Sunday's Best

Personnel: Wayman Tisdale: bass, accoustic guitar, keyboards, drum programming & vocals; Eric Benet: vocals; Tom Braxton: saxophone; Mel Brown: bass; Jonathan Butler: accoustic guitar & vocals; Gordon Campbell: drums; Tracy "Platinum" Carter: keyboards & programming; Lenny Castro: percussion; Eric Dawkins: backing vocals; George Duke: keyboards & spoken word; Ray Fuller: guitar; Lisa Hampton: spoken word; Luther "Mano" Hanes: drum programming, keyboards & keyboard bass; Donald Hayes: saxophone; Bob James: piano; Dave Koz: saxophone; Jeff Lorber: drum programming, Wurlitzer, Minimoog solo, keyboards & piano; Tony Maider: guitar; Peter Olstad: trumpet & flugelhorn; Ricky Peterson: B-3 organ; Darren Rahn: saxophone, vocals, keyboards & drum programming; Rex Rideout: keyboard; Frank Selman: guitar; John "Jubu" Smith: guitar; Wayman Tisdale II: dialog, Rick Watford: guitar; Kirk Whalum: saxophone; Mike White: drums; Erik Zobler: spoken word

Title: Way Up! | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Rendezvous


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Profiles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Rebound
Rendezvous Entertainment
2008
buy
Face To Face
Rendezvous Entertainment
2001
buy
Decisions
Rendezvous Entertainment
1998
buy
Radio Sampler
Rendezvous Entertainment
1996
buy

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Omío" CD/LP/Track Review Omío
by James Nadal
Published: August 31, 2016
Read "Sounds Of 3" CD/LP/Track Review Sounds Of 3
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 17, 2016
Read "Quantum Man" CD/LP/Track Review Quantum Man
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 11, 2017
Read "Onward" CD/LP/Track Review Onward
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 5, 2017
Read "Sleight Of Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Sleight Of Hand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "One" CD/LP/Track Review One
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 2, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.