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For over twenty years, members of the Jamaican harmony trio Foundation have used the ruins of a still standing sugar plantation "big house" as their practice space --- faithfully rehearsing their "words and works" amongst crumbling walls and overgrown vines. Compelling lyrics and enchanting harmonices echo across fields once worked by African slaves. Fittingly, today this setting is home to one of Jamaica's finest reggae harmony trios. Foundation's first album, Flames, ignited critical acclaim with its strong debut in 1988. Guided by the creative genius of the legendary Jamaican producer, Jack Ruby, Flames is a celebration of impeccable Jamaican musicianship --- one that expresses a wide range of styles and issues. The plaintive "Just to Live" is a heartfelt tribute to the memory and inspiration of such leaders as Marcis Garvey, Haille Selassie, Bob Marley, and Nelson Mandela. The title track, "Flames" addresses the possibility of nuclear holocaust, which, in 2000, though seemingly diminished, has by no means disappeared. While social issues are foremost in the groups, "works" the lighter side of life is enjoyed in tunes such as "Dance if you're dancing -- if you feel alright say yeah!"
Sierra Nevada World Music Festival

Foundation
(Errol Douglas, Everton Thomas, Emilio Smiley)
Foundation

Foundation's next project, Heart Feel It, confirmed the strong artistic conviction that informed Flames. What the heart feels --- the trio reveals --- in this testament to personal and social struggle. Once again, this project invovled some of Jamaica's finest musicians including Sly and Robbie, Handel Tucker, Dean Fraser and the late great Jackie Mittoo. 'You and I' speaks to an aspiration, now realized, --- the dismantling of the heinous sytem of apartheid. 'Symptoms and Signs' is a tongue and cheek compendium of Jamaican folklore. Promotion of these two albums resulted in Foundation touring Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm, Milan, Rome, Bonn and of course, the U.S. where they dazzled large audiences and enjoyed rare reviews. A promising future came to an abrupt halt with the untimely passing of Jack Ruby. Foundation's deal with Island was virtually placed on hold -- a state of limbo that was to last until 1995 when they signed with Island Jamaica to produce One Shirt. The 'power of three' continues unabated in this issue-oriented album that relies on silky smooth harmonies to express social commentaries. Once again, Foundation's strong lyrics speak to topical issues in a timeless fashion. 'Let the People Go' leaves no room for compromise in its demand.

Artist Biography courtesy of Ariana

 

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