May 16, 2009

Wayman Tisdale, Fallen Giant

As one of my colleagues has already noted here, and as many already know by now, jazz bassist and former NBA basketball star Wayman Tisdale passed away yesterday after a two-year battle with bone cancer. To say that Wayman was an icon both onstage and on the court is an understatement.

The jovial, pleasant giant saw the fruit of his labor manifest itself in the form of some of the most dedicated and excited fans around, and rightfully so. A prince among his peers and fans alike, Wayman always sported a “can do” attitude, as is evidenced by his recent album, “Rebound,” and time and again each time he hosted the Smooth Jazz Cruise, an event always guaranteed to be a memorable party. I am one of those who routinely joined Wayman on those cruises, and I’m signed on for the next two, as well. Obviously, the next cruise--and all subsequent cruises--will be bittersweet as we recall the man who embodied the essence of smooth jazz and wowed smooth jazz aficionados everywhere with his winning and infectious personality.

I will sorely miss this gentle giant, and, like my Smoothvibes colleagues and fans everywhere, my heartfelt sympathies go out to his family. Now more than ever, we need to rebut those naysayers who have predicted the demise of smooth jazz by dedicating our devotion and support of the format Wayman so loved and to which he devoted so much of his energy, even to the end. God bless and keep you, big guy. You will always be in our hearts, and I am sure your eternal party has just begun.

Posted by Ronald Jackson at May 16, 2009 5:54 PM