Thanks for your response, Matt, and thanks for following the bulletin board. You are always welcome to take any advice for what it is worth. As you are probably aware from reading posts here the year or so I've been involved, many questioners are inexperienced, don't know the lingo and terms of art, don't articulate their question well, or don't really understand what the problem is. Therefore we sometimes have to make some assumptions or we could hardly ever answer a post. In fact I do ignore some questions because they call for too much speculation. Many times we ask for additional information and they don't provide it. If I or someone else is incorrect then the original poster can correct us with a response to more narrowly define their question. Since building conditions are different all over the country and there are many more than one way to (skin a cat) do something in construction so anything said here is not definitive and any readers can follow advice or disregard it. It would be no different if this poster or any other went to 5 local roofing companies or 5 local construction companies with a question. Chances are they may get a few different answers which is also why some people post here is because of differing quotes and methods they have been quoted locally.
As I read the post and Jay's followup, asphalt is a term of art used in shingles and in road construction. Since he was talking about his roof and not his driveway, I put 2 and 2 together. Tar is used as in hot tar or the black gold stuff used to seal flashings, etc. Hot tar roofs are generally put down on commercial buildings with fairly flat roofs. They do receive a gravel overlay for protection from the environment. The mention of orange-brown sounds more like a color for shingles and not (although not impossible) for gravel. Also most commercial roofs that are mopped with hot tar are recessed below the walls so you usually can't see the roof anyway so the color wouldn't make a difference. That is basically how I transferred my thoughts. It would be best for readers to wait until the original poster and other posters have responded over the course of a few days before worrying about assumptions.
I worked for a hot tar roofer during the summer after my 8th grade year. It was some of the hardest work I ever did including bucking hay bales. One day I was carrying a 5 gallon bucket of boiling hot tar from the ladder(they pump it to the roof nowadays) over to the mopper. The bucket hit a plumbing vent pipe on a windy day and spilled hot tar on my leg. At the hospital, they figured out I was only 14, insurance didn't cover me, and they had to let me go. Employers now tell me it is hard to find kids who want to work anymore. If anyone needs a job and not afraid of hard work, I would recommend roofing among other things.