Wayman Tisdale is known to sports fans as a truly talented basketball player who dominated the university level, the Olympics and the pros, where he had a 12-year career. Tisdale started his professional recording career in 1995. A smooth jazz bassist and sometime guitarist, Tisdale was heavily influenced by the funk sounds of the 1970s. He enjoyed instant commercial success in the smooth jazz and R&B worlds, and three of his albums hit No. 1 in the contemporary jazz charts. In 2007, Tisdale was diagnosed with cancer of the knee and persevered through two rounds of chemotherapy and an amputation. He seemed to have battled the cancer to a standstill when he released Rebound in 2008, but he was suddenly struck ill and passed away on May 21, 2009. A fighter until the end, he was planning to record a new album at the time of his death.