Most athletes who moved into the recording business during the '90s found rap to be their forte, but Wayman Tisdale shifted the field to contemporary jazz with his 1995 debut album, Power Forward, recorded for the Motown subsidiary MoJazz.
A 1984 Olympic gold medalist in basketball, All-American at the University of Oklahoma, and member of the Phoenix Suns, Tisdale plays bass in his Fifth Quarter Band. He signed with MoJazz in 1995, releasing Power Forward later that year. By 1996, his second album, In the Zone, had appeared; Decisions followed two years later; Face to Face was issued in early 2001. In 2003 the gospel album Presents 21 Days was released, while the next year saw Hang Time. In 2006 Tisdale's seventh record, Way Up!, featuring guest artists Bob James, Dave Koz, and George Duke, among others, came out. In 2007, Tisdale was diagnosed with bone cancer, but he recovered sufficiently to release his eighth album, Rebound, in 2008, featuring a version of Barry White's "Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up" with country star Toby Keith on vocals. Ultimately, Tisdale passed away on May 15, 2009, at age 44 after battling bone cancer for two years. ~ John Bush & William Ruhlmann