Wayman Tisdale has an image as a fun-loving guy with upbeat songs, but truth be told, Tisdale leans toward mellow and introspective tunes that possess a remarkable jazz sensibility. That doesn’t mean Tisdale has forgotten what’s turned him into a bona fide music star after 12 years as one of the NBA’s best power forwards. He always includes a gospel song, and here it’s “Grateful” with guest vocalist Marvin Sapp. His one R&B classic, also a staple on his CDs, is a good one: Barry White’s “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up,” with the twist of having good friend and fellow Oklahoma native and country star Toby Keith on vocals. Don’t think about that one too long, just enjoy it.
Rebound is less about Tisdale’s basketball skills and more about his comeback from cancer after doctors discovered a cyst below his right knee. He now says he’s 100 percent cured after surgery and months of chemotherapy. Tisdale addresses this on the CD’s opener, the title track, briefly talking about how it’s “his turn” after “life tries to get you down.” The spiritual song captures Tisdale’s feel for jazz as he trades bass licks with Dave Koz’s sax, as does “I Hope You Feel It Too,” whose tempo is slowed down. The bassist digs into some urban adult contemporary with “Watch Me Play Again,” with an assist by vocalist Robert Wilson from the Gap Band, and with “Comin’ Home,” a slice of midtempo sass with something new: vocoder vocals by “JR Hutson.”