Nearly a year and a half after the passing of basketball star and jazz bassist Wayman Tisdale comes the release of his final album, The Fonk Record. The 11-song album was 12 years in the making, with three funk legends lending support, including George Clinton, George Duke and the late Ali Woodson.
Tisdale collaborated over those 12 years with Derek “DOA” Allen, the album’s producer. The bassist, well known for his jazz career, was inspired by funk musicians such as Bootsy Collins and the Gap Band’s Robert Wilson. Tisdale named his own band “The Fonkie Planetarians”, and performed under the moniker of “Tiz”.
“He always wanted to make funk music,” says Allen. “People are going to see a whole ‘nother side of Wayman on this record – he was on a mission to play as hard and funky as he could.”
Tisdale released eight jazz albums and one Gospel project. He was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2007, prompting him to shift his focus to the funk record.
“He spent the last two years of his life finishing The Fonk Record,” Allen shares. “Only he knew, when no one else did, that God was going to call him home. While he was in the hospital getting chemotherapy, he used funk music as therapy. I would send him files to listen to and it was part of the healing process. When he died, he was at peace.”
Tisdale passed on May 15, 2009.
Preview and download The Fonk Record: