At this point, Wayman Tisdale was better known as a one of the NBA's tough power forwards, a position often described as the equivalent to hockey's enforcer, but on the jazz tip Tisdale's silky smooth and a purveyor of mature romanticism. He's not a virtuoso on any of the instruments he plays (yet) -- bass guitar, keyboards, or the synthesizer -- but records with an all-star cast of musicians who mask any shortcomings. In fact, Tisdale contributes more on his recordings than those done in the past by Idris Muhammad, Norman Connors, and others. He plays, sings, and produces in addition to writing six of the tracks. Brian Knight, the main producer, keeps everything hearts and flowers; two songs have female names as titles. A cucumber-cool aura makes "Circumstances" most arresting, and he employs the same plucky bass play on "Passion." Others that impress are "Danger Zone" and two with b-ball derived titles: "After the Game" and "Power Forward," the latter aggressively avant-garde, á la Albert Ayers and John Coltrane. A braying sax dominates "Inside Stuff," and Brian Knight's "You" is the meatiest vocal.
Power Forward Review
by Andrew Hamilton