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Helping Others




Thoughts of Wayman Tisdale
 October 23, 2010  

     Release Date: October 26, 2010

Wayman wanted to do a funk project. At first it was a playful joke with a few demos here and there. Inspired by great funk artists like Bootsy Collins and Robert Wilson of the Gap Band,  For those who were lucky enough to catch Tisdale in concert got a glimpse of his alter ego when he’d perform 20 to 30-minute funk-filled interludes during his jazz shows. “If you saw it, you knew it was the most explosive part of his show,” “That’s when the party got started!”


But Tisdale was way too busy with his successful jazz career to focus attention on his fonk. Between hosting jazz cruises, headlining tours, and being an active and loving husband and father, there wasn’t much time. One thing changed that: a diagnosis of cancer in 2007. Tisdale could not ignore his alter ego any longer. “He spent the last two years of his life finishing The Fonk Record,” “While he was in the hospital getting chemotherapy, he used funk music as therapy. Iit was part of the healing process. When he died, he was at peace.”


The Fonk Record features George Duke “Let’s Ride,” next is “This Fonk Is 4U” with the unmistakable vocals of George Clinton. The late Ali Woodson of the Temptations joins Tisdale on the slow-jam sweetness and strings of “Been Here Before.” The Fonk Record was a labor of love for Tisdale,  “I watched him go from being a very good bass player to becoming a great bass player.”    Derek Allen

Smooth Jazz Magazine offered fellow artists, friends and fans an opprotunity to express their thoughts on the man who touched their lives, in their own words.....


Marcus Miller

Wayman was absolutely one of the most beautiful spirits I've ever met. He came to visit me in the studio years ago in the eighties. He said he was a big music fan. I was producing Roberta Flack at the time. It wasn't until many years later that I realized he was more than just a fan. His music is a true representation of his soul. My son, Julian, was his Godson. I can't wait to hear the new album and experience Wayman once more.



Will Downing

LONG before his basketball status or music career Waymon Tisdale was a nice guy (which is very rare find). I don't think I've ever seen him without a smile on his face even in his last days. I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with him about a week before he passed and we talked about a tour and an uplifting tour. As we both had been through health challenges and seemed to have over come them he thought it would be great for people to see two survivors. To give hope to those who might be going thru something. You see Waymon didn't just talk about it.... he was about it!! He was a doer even with his new release "The Fonk Record" he didn't just talk about it he did it and he did it well. What I heard sounds amazing.I love and miss that dude but his music will live on forever!  


Dave Koz

 Wayman Tisdale was one of those gentle giants, and any time you saw him whether off the stage or on the stage, or meeting him for the first time everyone became his friend, his best friend. With that big smile, he was a very generous person, and it was rare for someone who played the bass with so much personality, but it wouldn't have matter what instrument he played he would have been a star on it, a star on the basketball court, a star on the concert stage, I miss him so much.  He is one of the people I think about every single day.


Brenda Russell

When I first met Wayman Tisdale, we were about to embark on a musical cruise. I was overwhelmed with his warmth and sunny disposition, my first thought; "wow, what a nice guy!". Throughout the cruise I watched how he interacted with the fans and fellow musicians--he was such a caring, sweet man.  When we performed together at a free concert sponsored by the WAVE, he totally rocked the arena.  His enthusiasm as a performer was magical to watch and feel. I was hollerin' and rockin' with the rest of the crowd.  It seems he lived many lives in one.  Not many people could accomplish as much as he within several lifetimes. I think Wayman was one of those angels here on earth that had a very positive effect on everyone he encountered.


Jeff Lorber

When I first heard about Wayman, I was a bit skeptical that someone who was so accomplished in one field (basketball) could also be a world class bass player.  In time, however, he completely won me over. Wayman had three things going for him.. an infectious winning personality, musical talent, and an almost encyclopedic knowledge of R+B and funk music.  That deep understanding of music was on display in his stage show.. he loved to go through the history of the music in his show bring the audience along in performing his favorite jams from the Ohio Players, Funkadelic, Earth Wind and Fire and others.  I had the pleasure of working with Wayman on a few of his albums and its was nothing but fun to collaborate with him. I was surprised even later to discover that he was a talented guitar player as well as bass, and that he had been involved in discovering other artists as well.  When it came to production, Wayman didn't waste time.. he was very focused and had a clear idea of what he was after.  He had an excellent grasp of the intricacies of record production 

 always had good musical ideas and suggestions about what we were working on.  He was truly a force of nature and I'll miss him a lot.




Lynda Clayton

Wayman is so very missed. His hugs, his smile, his fun shows and great spirit. He lives in our hearts forever and his music will also live on forever. One of the best bassists in the world....but also one of the BEST HUMAN BEINGS I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. He touched my heart and this collection will be perfect to have from Tis.....


Mike Phillips

I have been with Wayman starting in 97 when he was still playing in the NBA and very focus in making  his transition from basketball to music. He put me under his wing and one day while eating he told me "You should do your own records". And a month later I was the 3rd artist to sign to Hiddenbeach after Jill Scott and Brenda Russell. A kind heart, a great soul, a lover of GOD, and his family... a example to us all off and on the court. 


Pat Prescott

Wayman Tisdale was such a huge presence in the lives of those of us who got to know him that it’s still hard to believe that he’s not walking among us today.  I cherish the times we spent with Wayman and his amazing family at concerts, at the radio station and on the jazz cruises.  I think the most important thing I learned from Wayman and the way he conducted his much too short life, is something I also saw in my Dad, who died at the same age as Wayman.  It’s not how long you’re here on this earth; it’s what you do with the time you have.  If you use the time well, you’ll make an impression on those you leave behind that will last longer than any of us will live.  Wayman did that well (much better than most) and because of that, he will always be remembered and loved.


Paul Taylor



"I've crossed paths with Wayman on a few concerts and he was a great individual as well as musician.  We always had a mutual respect for each other.  I remember him always being in the zone on his bass, rocking the stage and engaging the crowd.  I wish I could've shot some hoops with him as well.  I thought he was soooo talented excelling at sports and music".   


Brian Culbertson

My funny memory of Wayman is when we were on a Christmas Tour Bus together and I could always tell where Wayman was sleeping since he couldnt fit in the bunk beds so he would always one leg hanging out way into the aisle and I would always be tripping over it, and then saying get your leg back into there.  But he was a great, I love him, and I miss him dearly.



One of the most kindred and talented spirits I have ever met. He was a man who was blessed to gave two major careers during his short time on this earth. He is truly missed but fondly remembered  by those of us who were blessed by his friendship and talent. 

Michael Henderson

Wayman was a big Fan of Michael Henderson Music and incorporated my composition, "You Are My Starship" on his very first album! I was very honored to say the least!

Paul Brown

We got together and worked on a song one time, which was Cosmic Monkey, which came out on my record.  For about 3 weeks he was messing around with that track and getting comfortable with it. In the end, it didn't work for his project.  But he was just a great guy, just a sweetheart.  He came to the house and played basketball with my son.  We messed around with the hoops a little bit.  He was actually considering buying my house at one point because I'm tall as well, and I designed my house with super tall door ways and ceilings and he was like man this is great and I had the recording studio.  But he ended up moving out to Agoura and I wasn't really ready to move anyway. So we had a good relationship and I definitely miss him.  God bless him.


Jimmie Ware

My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting Wayman while he was a Sacramento King and again at a Jazz Festival in the Gas Light District of San Diego. His bright smile was infectious and his sweet sounding bass playing will always be with us. Wayman Tisdale made anyone who came in contact with him feel loved.


Kevin Bradshaw

Someone once said that "What lies ahead of us, and what lies behind us, is never as important as what lies within us." Wayman's music is the legacy of what lied within him. Grateful to 'Tis' for the inheritance of music he bequeathed to those of us his family, friends and fans.


    Anisha Wilson

"We've lost many of jazz artists over the years, but there is something about Wayman's passing that I just can't get over. I miss him so very much!"

Christina Flores

Wayman was truly a beautiful Soul! I was blessed to have become friends with Him and know this world needs more people like him... Amazingly talented, great looking, funny...this world has a void without you Tizz! So happy your Funk record is finally here this month..."fonky like spoiled salmon eggs"... you were too funny! See ya on the other side my friend.


Mark Harper

I stood on his left for almost 7 years, and words cannot describe how amazing it was! I have sooo much that I could say. But what he did speaks for itself!!!


Janice M. Robinson

o   1Wayman Tisdale was one of the few truly real human beings I've ever met. He was kind to everyone. He loved his family and he loved people. You never saw an ounce of celebrity in him, just that big, glorious smile that greeted everyone It was probably what made me love his music so much. It is as real and heartfelt as he was. I never can think of him without a tear coming to my eyes. His exuberance for life touched me in many ways. A lot of people live until they are 80 and do not one bit of good for others. In Wayman's short life he left behind a lot of great music, great memories and stories for people to tell and a whole lot of folks that loved him. Never will be another one like that again I am certain! Miss the Tiz!


David B. Johnson


That was my man. Great  guy and an AWESOME performer. Missed, but not forgotten!!


Terri Tee

He had a great smile along with a passion on the court to give it his all. I was impressed when I read that he was an accomplished musician upon him joining the Phoenix Suns. I have listened to his music for years and the day I found out that he died, I cried at my desk like I lost a family member. He was only 44 years old, as I lost my only sibling, my older brother, when he was also 44. The music is sincere, soothing and it touches my soul.


Paul Jackson Jr.


“There's probably not much you can say about Wayman Tisdale that has not already been said. He was funny, very talented, had a great sense of humor, he loved our Lord Jesus Christ, loved his wife and family, loved his friends, and loved his fans. One of the things I will remember most is his courage. When he was faced with various kinds of adversity, he marched through it. Never complaining. He persevered like a true champion. That's what I remember about Wayman. Plus he was like 2 feet taller than I am!".


Phil Perry

 First of all, I truly miss him.  I didn't spend as much time as I would have liked too, but I could honestly say that there was never a time that when I got with Wayman we would picked up where we left off the last time we were together.  He was an incrediable musician, but his musicianship was far more superceded by the type of person he was and the type of caring individual he was. And I think that is more the legacy that he leaves us more than anything else. 

Kevin Carter

 My memory of Wayman Tisdale was when I first met him at the NAMM show years back and I told him I am going to quit playing bass, and he pulled my arm and said "Are you crazy, no you are not! when you were with The Busboys  I was watching you, you were one of the reasons why I was thumpin." So from that point I looked at myself and continue to play, and he is the reason why I keep playing the bass and I thank that brother .

Gil Machin

Who dat said bass ain't a lead instrument? Waymon took us all to school on this and though he's gone "Ain't No Stopping" his music. Luv ya and miss all the more you could have given us.t was probably what made me love his music so much. It is as real and heartfelt as he was. I never can think of him without a tear coming to my eyes. His exuberance for life touched me in many ways. A lot of people live until they are 80 and do not one bit of good for others. In Wayman's short life he left behind a lot of great music, great memories and stories for people to tell and a whole lot of folks that loved him. Never will be another one like that again I am certain! Miss the Tiz!


Patricia Ann Ransom 

Can't nobody sound like Wayman that BASS is original!


Cecil A. Moore

I has the pleasure of meeting Wayman in Destin, Florida at Seabreeze Jazz Festival . He always had a smile on his face and really enjoyed life and what he was doing . Entertaining the fans was fun for him. I really enjoyed the enthusiasm and passion he brought to the stage each time he performed. No doubt, he will be missed and I look forward to the new CD.


Lynne Fiddmont

Wayman's  playing was like his smile, bright, spirited, energetic, beautiful, contagious, joyful, and full of love for all those around. His bravery was amazing to witness and I am fortunate to have had the pleasure of knowing him. He kept saying to me, "ooh Lynne, you're going to love this CD, it's real funky." and I'm sure he's in heaven, so excited to share it with all of us. Thank you Wayman.


Tony Exum Jr.

This album is so FUNKY!



Marques Jones

Amazing man
                           Sha-Ron Williams I saw Wayman perform at the Hyatt Regency in Newport Beach, after he found out he had cancer. He was up beat and very positive. It was a great performance. I have always enjoyed his music. He is greatly missed. RIP Wayman.


Ron Henderson

The Man was a monster bassist!!!  Love his music.

Ayo Jehlani Ashani

What an awesome individual! 

Ronnie Laws

Wayman was an extraordinary guy, for someone to come from the sports arena and to be able to be a front man as a musician is really rare, he had that quality about him and such a great human being, he is surely missed. 

Andrea "TheVoice" Boone

I'm excited!! Wayman is one of my all time favorite musicians.



KJ Wag

Got all his Cd's, miss him much, also loved his B game. .

Marc Antoine

I met Wayman years ago on a Art Good Christmas Tour. I didn't know much about him apart from the fact that he was a very famous NBA player. Well, let me set something straight, Wayman didn't need that NBA sticker to make it in the music scene; he was one of the best bass player I have met along my career. I remember exchanging musical ideas on the bus, in hotel rooms, at sound check and he was always ready to play, a real musician. He was also a very lovable guy, kind, funny and so positive. I will always remember his smile. We quickly became good friends and I miss him dearly.

I miss my cousin he was truly loved and a blessing to all he came in contact with. I still think of him and his legacy. He was such an example!! He will never ever be forgotten. Love you Wayman!! 








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