Remembering A Legend: Honoring 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist Wayman Tisdale
“You all ready to hang?”
Opening words prior to first track on 2004 album
Wayman Tisdale (June 9, 1964-May 15, 2009) was not only a standout college basketball player at the University of Oklahoma who helped win gold during the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, he played 12 years in the NBA sporting the jerseys of the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, and Phoenix Kings.
Citing the funk bands of the 1970’s as a major influence growing up, Tisdale was primarily a bass player. In 1995, two years before hanging up his sneakers for good on the hardwood–he released a basketball themed album appropriately titled after the position he starred in, Power Forward. For the next 13 years, he recorded eight other jazz albums and one of his best is appropriate for me to profile as my final CD album review prior to the Olympics in Rio.
Hang Time was released in 2004 by Rendezvous Entertainment, LLC of Beverly Hills, California. The disk starts out with some funky rhythms and beats on “Ready To Hang” and “Creative Juices” (another basketball term popularly used by players to gear up for getting the best effort in squelching their opponents). A pair of classic tunes with “Cruisin'” and “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” lend to a major party beat back-to-back with Tracks 3 and 4. Without a doubt, those were Tisdale’s biggest hits in all of his final years spent as a jazz musician.
Similar to sinking a game winning three pointer at the buzzer, Tisdale scored with other songs ranging from the slower pace on Track 5 (“My World” which clocks in at 5 minutes, 26 seconds) and the introduction of vocals by keyboardist Carnell Murrell on Track 9, “Even When (The Sun Goes Down)”. The other three tracks mostly dealt with a slow to medium pace. Overall, an excellent All-Star album for any jazz lover’s collection.
Inside the digipak were some cool liner notes penned by Wayman himself. It is only appropriate several years after his shocking death that I share some of his thoughts while looking at a picture of him posing with his guitar while sitting up on a hotel bed somewhere while on tour with the likes of Dave Koz and others:
“To everyone who participated (writers, producers, engineers, etc.) in the hang on this record, thanks for making the whole word hang with Tizzy.”
No question, his accomplishments both on and off the jazz stage will never be forgotten–a true legend in every sense of the word.
Prior to being named by The General, then longtime Indiana University head coach Bob Knight to the 1984 U.S. men’s basketball team, Wayman Tisdale was the first major standout player in the rough-and-tumble era of the former Big 8 Conference competing against the likes of Kansas and Oklahoma State.
In my other blog, I profile his college statistics and feature a special tribute for all basketball fans. You can find this blog by either tapping or clicking on the link below:
Next week, I will offer my final thoughts just before the flame is lit inside legendary Maracana Stadium. Please try your best to make this a fun week.