_a.k.a. detrimental vasoline - Giant Shirley_ (1995)

Tal Ross

Go back up to the P-Funk Solo Work album list.

Track Listing:

Ain't No Reason {Tal Ross, Peter Wetherbee}  0:18
Green And Yellow Daughter {T Ross, P Wetherbee}  4:25
Cry And Show Me {T Ross, P Wetherbee}  6:27
Hussein (I'm Lucky) {T Ross, P Wetherbee}  5:33
Forget Her {T Ross, P Wetherbee}  6:30
Get So Mad {T Ross, P Wetherbee}  5:06
Keep On Trying {T Ross, P Wetherbee}  5:33
Feelin' Good {T Ross, P Wetherbee}  6:28
Forever (My Darling Don't Cry) {T Ross, P Wetherbee}  5:35
All Over The World (Ain't That Lovin'?) {T Ross, P Wetherbee}  3:41
Angry Fire (Intestical Swing) {T Ross, P Wetherbee}  4:32
Feeling Like Ahh Lover Should {T Ross, P Wetherbee}  4:14
Lovin' Toll Man Suite {T Ross, P Wetherbee}  5:52
It Was (Wars Of Armageddon) {T Ross, P Wetherbee}  7:30


Producer: Peter Wetherbee
Lead Vocals, Acoustic and Electric Guitars: Tal Ross 
Drums and Chronic Beats: Jerome "Big Foot" Brailey
Chatan, Congas, Djembe, Tambourine, Bells: Aiyb Dieng
Electric Stealth and Bomber Guitars, Bass on "LTM": Jef Lee Johnson 
Electric Bass: Wayne Hammond 
Clavinet, Organ, Rhodes, Grand Piano, Melodica,	Analog Synthesizers and 
 Keyboards: Neil Alexander
Watchin' You Guitar: Bill "Evil 1" Murphy 
Additional Guitars, Vocals, Congas, Percussion, Ambient Textures, Beats, 
 Loops and Programming: Peter Wetherbee

Rating: RC: ****


RC: Tal (aka 'Tawl') Ross was one of the original Funkadelics, a rhythm guitarist and singer who was responsible for many of the rhythms and chords of the early material. Under circumstances that are still sort of vague, Tal had a shattering encounter with LSD that made him leave the music scene (and his New Jersey home) altogether. He went to live in a small town in North Carolina, working and playing acoustic guitar. Eventually, hardcore Funkateers Aris Wilson and Peter Wetherbee sought him out, and signed him to Wetherbee's new Coconut Grove Records. Wetherbee was formerly head of Axiom, well-known for experimentative, visionary and avant-garde musical experiments, not to mention funkin' it up once in awhile. Pete was deeply involved with the O.G. Funk album Out Of The Dark, for example, a deep dip into groove and nastiness. The results of Tal's nearly 25-year funk fermentation are compelling, with a beefy stew of blues, wayyyy-back yonder funk, eastern rhythms, psychedelia, and even some rock 'n' roll for good measure. The album's roots lie deep in the Mississippi Delta style of blues, with some of that lighter finger-picking Carolina Piedmont style as well. So when the album is described as blues-funk, it's not the shimmering, happy electric blues that most people are familiar with, but rather brooding, evocative, acoustic blues. Tal spices this up with tight chords and it's flavored by fantastic percussion. Jerome Brailey slips seamlessly from straight-ahead blues drumming to more lively arrangements, and longtime Laswell associate Aiyb Deng is simply amazing at adding percussive textures. The bass player and keyboardist are excellent at evoking early Funkadelic feels. I would certainly recommend this album to any fan of early Funkadelic records; it adds an interesting perspective on the contributions that Ross made on this records. Be warned that it's not the sort of dance-funk that many Funkateers are used to, nor is it really the sort of super-heavy acid rock funk that appears on the early records. The album is mellow in a menacing sort of way, contemplative but with plenty of bite. The album's main flaw is that Tal's voice is mixed way too low, being drowned out on many songs. This is a shame, because he has a funky, smokey voice. Wetherbee's production otherwise is excellent, bringing together a number of interesting elements around Tal without overshadowing him musically.

"Ain't No Reason" is a brief intro, a little Delta blues intro that sets the tone for what follows. "Green And Yellow Daughter" is one of the standout tunes, with Tal pulling the song's reigns with his acoustic guitar and raspy voice. The guitar strumming recalls "Can You Get To That"'s intro. "Cry And Show Me" has an Eastern beat, an ominous guitar riff, and lyrics mumbled the way Blind Willie Johnson might have. "Hussein" has a harder, driving beat, but is still extremely tasteful. The guitar riffs swoop down here, matched by the percussion. "Forget Her" is more mellow, and could almost be considered a ballad. "Get So Mad" is the first real funk workout. It's upbeat, and is really pushed along by the clavinet and bass. "Keep On Trying" is a relaxed song with sad overtones, talking about lost love. The percussion and melodic bassline really work well with Tal's vocals. "Feelin' Good" is a soulful, fast-paced song with great singing. "Forever" and "All Over The World" are spacey and mellow, with subdued guitar playing. "Angry Fire" is a sinewy, tough song with a great bassline and wailing guitars. This is another of the standouts. "Feelin' Like Ahh Lover Should" is another soulful ballad, with the organ adding some nice flavor. "Lovin' Toll Man Suite" is super funky, with a strong guitar presence. The chords have bite, and the acoustic presence really dominates this song. "It Was" is an interesting finale, recalling "Wars Of Armageddon", with great interaction between the bass and the acoustic guitar. The vocals are really outfront and this also helps make the song memorable.

This album is in print, though it may be somewhat hard to find. Check with a computer service like cdconnection.com or with a bigger chain like Tower Records.