Best-known as a member of Cooly's Hot Box, Ticklah is a talented multi-instrumentalist whose debut sounds like a groove-oriented jam among the Meters, Maceo Parker, and Medeski, Martin & Wood. His primary weapon is keyboards, and he was obviously given his nickname for the nimble way in which he coaxes delicious grooves from the ebonies and ivories, working retro organs, clavinets, and Wurlitzers into a sweaty frenzy. Ticklah is at his best when he has other musicians to bounce ideas off of. "Cooly Wages" is a jazzy, funky cut featuring several of his bandmates that sounds like a more soulful Steely Dan, with keyboard bass and Christian Urich's drums creating an infectious rhythmic backdrop over which Ernesto Abreau provides Latin percussion fills as Ticklah takes his echoing synth solos into a psychedelic '70s stratosphere. But even when kicking it totally solo, Ticklah maintains quality control, moving from party cuts to heady dub reggae with ease. Only on the blatantly commercial "Pain of Loving You," with its quiet storm R&B groove and syrupy vocals, does the album miss the mark. Otherwise, it's an impressive solo debut full of instrumental jams good enough to stand on their merit.
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AllMusic Review by Bret Love