Welcome to the latest issue of Denis Poole�s Secret Garden, the page that offers a British perspective on all that�s good, and not so good, in the world of smooth jazz and classic soul. Everyone who has seen Wayman Tisdale perform live more than once knows that he always does the same show. With some artists that might be a problem but in the case of Tisdale that one show is so dynamic, so full of energy and so enjoyable that fans would gladly pay to see him every day of the week. Consequently on October 9 2005, when he opened for Norman Brown at the KIFM 98.1 Jazz On The Beach show at Oceanside CA, a packed audience was there to see him.
No man better spans the divide or better makes the connection between �Old School� soul and Smooth Jazz than bass supremo and former NBA star Wayman Tisdale. His current release Hang Time is testimony to that and for an audience of a certain age, energized by the warm sunshine that flooded the Oceanside Auditorium and all ready to party, Wayman Tisdale was, as they say, just what the doctor ordered.
As he opened with the aptly titled �Ready To Hang� from the CD Hang Time, the crowd was immediately where he wanted them to be, right in the groove. He tested out their old school credentials by sending out the opening of �Joy and Pain� only to have them holler back �Like Sunshine And Rain� with no encouragement all. He started them off with the chant from the Gap Bands �Oops Upside Your Head� and it came reverberating back with passion. Having got the assembled throng all checked out and warmed up he kicked right into the Smokey Robinson classic �Cruisin�, also from Hang Time, and audience participation was guaranteed.
With guitarist Mark Harper leading the line and the Rendezvous recording artist Tom Braxton on saxophones the backing was as tight as could be. Braxton has been Tisdale's right hand man both live and in the studio from the beginning and he has his own CD Bounce just out. Tisdale took a back seat while he played the title track and it proved to be one of the high spots of the entire afternoon. On this showing Braxton is clearly destined for major solo success.
Another highlight of the show was �Gabrielle� a number from Tisdale's 1995 release Power Forward and named after his daughter. She was a baby when he composed the tune and when Tisdale brought the now ten-year-old Gabrielle to the front of the stage the audience loved it.
He also revisited his back catalog to reinforce the old school vibe with the Isley Brothers �Summer Breeze�, taken from his 1996 release In The Zone. He made a simply awesome job of it and in what was rapidly becoming an out and out soul fest there was no better track to end on than the McFadden and Whitehead classic, also from Hang Time, �Ain't No Stoppin Us Now�. Of course Tisdale being Tisdale he again involved the audience with a segway into a Bob Marley tribute and in so doing confirmed himself as the consummate entertainer.
Check his up coming tour schedule at www.waymantisdale.com