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“Ya’ll Ready to Hang?”

It’s no surprise that Wayman Tisdale was one of the most consistent and admired basketball players during his 12 years in the NBA. His enormous stature, exceptional power, and unwavering dedication made him one of the game’s most dominating power forwards. It’s that same single-minded tenacity that propels the bassist forward as he creates his most melodically pure CD to date, high-energy Hang Time.

On Hang Time, Tisdale is at the top of his game, releasing his first album on Rendezvous Entertainment and performing on the high-profile Dave Koz and Friends tour this summer. Wayman continues to exhibit the talents that earned his first four albums in Billboard’s Top Ten with Hang Time, which promises “the ideal summer BBQ CD so get ready to hang!”

Tisdale’s bass takes the lead in 12 tracks on Hang Time, creating memorable sounds while he coaxes lovely tones from his instrument. “I feel like I’m a melodic vocalist on the bass,” Tisdale says. “I’m not just playing bass; I’m trying to make it sound more like a singer. I don’t think anything has been done this way before, where you’re more in tune with singing than with just chops.”

Hang Time is a unique project that blends old-school cool with modern R&B to create a well-balanced sound. Jeff Lorber, longtime friend and gospel music producer Tracy Carter, Pieces of Dream co-founder James Lloyd, who wrote and produced the song, and super-producer Koz are among the artists who appear on the album.

On Hang Time, Tisdale revisits the ‘70s for two covers: Smokey Robinson’s classic “Cruisin’,” produced by newbie Darren Rahn, and the McFadden and Whitehead dance classic “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now,” which was composed by newcomer. “I’m stuck in that ’70s groove,’” Tisdale says with a chuckle. “It seems like it’s my obligation to keep the old-schoolers up to date for today’s listeners.”

On the Koz collaboration “Better Days,” Tisdale handles the melodic lead on the bass in time with Koz’s sax. “Sax and bass go really well together when they’re playing the same melodies,” Tisdale says. On “My World,” a ballad featuring a sweet passage that mimics a child’s playground sing-song challenge, Tisdale plays all instruments as well as the bass: acoustic guitar, keyboards, and drum programming.

The closing song is “Glory Glory,” which Tisdale originally composed and performed on a gospel CD he released last year called 21 Days. Danielle Tisdale, Tisdale’s daughter, sings the vocals in this song, which focuses on her studies at the University of Oklahoma while also pursuing a singing career.

Tisdale was born and reared in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he still resides with his wife Regina and their four children. His new house has a pond full of fish where he may enjoy his favorite pastime: fishing. Tisdale is proud of his Bible Belt roots and enjoys life strongly connected to religion. While watching the bass players in his hometown church, he fell in love with the bass while watching them play, becoming inspired to learn how to play it himself.

Louis Tisdale, a minister, recalls “I thought they were the coolest cats. They got to stand up in the back and do their thing. I’d observe how they fingered and played them.” His father bought him his first Mickey Mouse guitar when he was five years old. Wayman taught himself to play and hasn’t stopped since, despite his brothers’ rapid conversions of the guitars into paddles and baseball bats. “It’s my favorite present that my father ever gave me,” he adds.

Tisdale was a basketball player as well as a musician. In 1983, he joined the University of Oklahoma Sooners and became the team’s first retired basketball jersey, number 23. Wayman is still connected to the school as he commentates for the men’s basketball team during the season.

In 1997, as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, he finished fourth in the NBA Most Improved Player voting and scored 25 points against Vancouver. In 1980, Tisdale was named to his high school’s first ever All-American team after scoring 20 goals and 16 assists as a senior. He went on to star at Oklahoma, where he earned all three years of the John Wooden Award All-American Team honors in 1984 and helped lead the Sooners to their third NCAA title. After graduation, in 1986, Indiana selected Tisdale with the No. 2 pick in the draft behind Patrick Ewing. For 12 years following that, Tisdales left his mark on the league with Indiana Pacers (1986–1993)

Before retiring after the 1997 season, Tisdale had already established himself as a recording artist. In 1995, he released his debut CD, which was appropriately titled Power Forward and peaked at No. 4 on Billboard’s contemporary jazz charts. All of Tisdale’s music has crossed over into the R&B chart, including his follow-ups to his debut album In the Zone (2000) and Decisions (2001), as well as 2001’s “Face to Face.”

Wayman is a tenor saxophonist who has enjoyed considerable commercial success. He’s recorded several solo albums, as well as CDs with Brian Culbertson, David Sanborn, and Everette Harp. Wayman also works to mentor the next generation of musicians through his Tisway Productions. For the 2004 Image Awards, he was nominated for the NAACP’s “Outstanding Jazz Artist” award.

“I was born to entertain,” Tisdale says. “I just adore people and feel that entertainment is in line with my personality. It’s what I’m meant to do on this planet, whether it’s on the stage or playing basketball.”