Release Date:
June 3, 2008

Reviewed by:
Harvey Cline

After some time away for health issues, bassist Wayman Tisdale makes a comeback with his latest release entitled Rebound. The twelve tracks here were a long time in coming as was the recovery process. Both Wayman and the music both shine here and we can easily see why this former N.B.A. forward is so popular on the smooth jazz scene.

He hit’s the ground running right away with the title track. Says Tisdale, “when life tried to get you down, it’s the perfect time for a rebound.” Featuring Dave Koz through much of this one, it is somewhat unusual to having a driving bass in the background while having Tisdale’s bass play over the top. He mixes it up well with Koz who’s playing is more of a complement than a soloist. It’s a great way to start off. “Throwin’ It Down” picks the pace up just a little and features co-writer Darren Rahn on tenor sax, Rhodes and keys. This one gets going in a hurry and comes to a resounding end. “Front Runna” is heavy on a “clap” beat that pushes it along and plays nicely off of Tisdale’s bass. The chorus is infectious and one you’ll be humming before long.  “One On One” is one of my favorites so far. It moves along at a good beat, and is clean enough to feature the big guy on bass as an actual voice through out. Tisdale shows so much more here than in his earlier works.

The real surprise that has everyone talking is the addition of country singer Toby Keith to the Barry White Classic, “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up.” These two Oklahoma alumni team up for a really good remake that you’ll really want to hear. I’m not going to tell you much about it except that you’ll really want to check it out. “I Hope You Feel It Too” is a Michael Todd number that comes across more insightful in its slower deliberate delivery. The playful sax of Donald Hayes is a nice touch throughout. Robert Wilson (of the Gap Band) is featured on “Watch Me Play Again.” Tisdale helped in the writing, and could have easily been the title track given the double meaning of being able to play basketball again. The bass is a little more “choked” here and the added horns are a nice touch. Keyboardist Brian Simpson joins Wayman on “I’ll Do The Driving.” Tisdale takes more of a lead here with some nice lines from Simpson’s piano. The “driving” here never gets too fast, and the exchange between the two is right down the middle.

A syncopated tune entitled “The Turnaround” features an unusual back beat that showcases this bass player’s abilities very well. Just when you think you’ve got the beat down on this one, it comes back with a rest on an up beat to throw you off. It gets going pretty good with great horn section to keep it going. He finishes up with a song that shows how thankful he is entitled “Grateful.” Wayman thanks God for his second chance, and that’s he’s so grateful. His fight with cancer has been well publicized, and is a perfect way to end this project.
Wayman says “remember, you’re just a rebound away”, and that’s exactly how he approached this new disc. He continues to step out and be one of the more notable bass players in the industry. His shows are fun, and his excitement shows through to his music. I really think you’re going to enjoy Rebound. There’s so much here to like, and Wayman mixes it up well. Be sure you pick up a copy soon.