Various artists album review
Jack Ruby Presents The Black Foundation

Tracking list

  1. Burning Spear - Marcus Garvey
  2. Big Youth - Mosiah Garvey (previously unreleased full length version)
  3. The Black Survivors - Come Away Jah Jah Children
  4. Vinnie Taylor And The Revealers - Hard Time (previously unreleased alternate mix)
  5. The Eagles - Warn The Nation
  6. The Black Disciples - Death Before Dishonor (previously unreleased)
  7. The Heptones - African Children (previously unreleased)
  8. The Gaylads - Come Running Back (previously unreleased version)
  9. Burning Spear - Slavery Days
  10. The Black Survivors - Every Knee Shall Bow
  11. Jack Ruby And The Black Disciples - Free Rhodesia (previously unreleased)
  12. Prince And The Seraphim - Decent Citizen
  13. Justin Hinds And The Dominoes - Fire (Is The Desire)
  14. The Eagles - Rasta Harvest
  15. The Gaylads - Youths Of Tomorrow (previously unreleased version)
  16. Justin Hinds And The Dominoes - Tell Me Not Of Other Lands (previously unreleased alternate mix)
  17. The Black Disciples - Sounds Of Thunder (previously unreleased)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5

North Coast sound system operator and record producer Lawrence Lindo aka Jack Ruby emerged in the mid-seventies. After Jack Ruby had met Winston "Burning Spear" Rodney at Key Largo, near the ball ground in St. Ann's Bay, he recorded the epochal "Marcus Garvey", which was used early on strictly for play on Ruby's Sound System. Its popularity forced the song's release on 7" single. It not only became a sizeable hit in Jamaica in 1975, but it also brought Burning Spear and Jack Ruby to the attention of Chris Blackwell's "Island Records", which took the song and the album that bore its name to the top of the U.K. reggae charts. The "Marcus Garvey" album - a true roots classic and one of the essential reggae albums of all time - established Jack Ruby as a topnotch roots producer and Burning Spear as the leading force of a new generation of "cultural" singers. From 1975 until his passing away in the spring of 1989 Jack Ruby recorded with Burning Spear, Big Youth, Justin Hinds and the Dominoes, The Black Disciples, The Heptones, The Gaylads, Foundation, U Brown, Ken Boothe, Delroy Wilson, and others, some of the best - sometimes even greatest - roots reggae music. Jack Ruby always concentrated on recording conscious material with his artists. This approach and his appealing full, "dread" production style played a major role in the popularity of his releases.
With the release of "Jack Ruby Presents The Black Foundation" HeartBeat Records has delivered an essential collection of classic roots reggae music. This compilation set gathers seventeen truly superb pieces from the vaults of the "Fox" and "Wolf" labels, many of them on CD for the first time. It's a tribute to the skills and talent of the late Jack Ruby, the total "Roots and Culture" producer whose material unmistakably has the timeless power and vitality of the best reggae. Burning Spear's "Marcus Garvey" is the first track on this album to underline this statement. It's striking that this tune still sounds as fresh and impressive as it did some 25 years ago. Also "Mossiah Garvey", Big Youth's deejay piece to the Burning Spear classic is a great effort in its own right. Then the little known vocal group The Black Survivors, who should not be confused with the more prolific Survivors. They deliver notable cultural efforts with their impassionate, wonderful song "Come Away Jah Jah Children" and the great Every Knee Shall Bow". Also great tunes from The Eagles, actually solo efforts from Horace "Brownie Eagle" Johnson (lead vocal and all the harmonies) as the other two original members of the vocal trio - Delroy Henry and Pernell Brown - had left the group at the time Johnson met up with Jack Ruby who took him to Randy's in Kingston to record "Warn The Nation" and "Rasta Harvest".
Noteworthy contributions can also be credited to Vinnie Taylor And The Revealers, The Gaylads, The Heptones - consisting of Dolphin "Naggo Morris, Barry Llewellyn and Earl Morgan - and Justin Hinds And The Dominoes. The latter, one of the top acts in Jamaica during the Ska days, made a remarkable comeback under the guidance of Jack Ruby. "Fire (Is The Desire)" and the outstanding 'Tell Me Not Of Other Lands" are fine examples of the group's mid-seventies repertoire. Last but not least The Black Disciples, Jack Ruby's excellent studio band, which featured such great musicians like Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, Santa, Robbie Shakespear, Aston "Familyman" Barrett, Tony Chin, Ranchie McLean, Earl "Chinna" Smith, Bernard "Touter" Harvey, Earl "Wire" Lindo and Sticky and the top horn men Richard "Dirty Harry" Hall, Tommy McCook, Bobby Ellis, and Vin Gordon. This set contains three wicked instrumentals from The Black Disciples including "Free Rhodesia", a killer cut on Studio One's "Rockfort Rock", with Jack Ruby himself introducing the members of the band. According to the liner notes there are even more Black Disciples instrumentals - apparently from an unreleased instrumental album - on the shelf. Regarding the high quality standard of the tracks on this set the release of a full length Black Disciples album is definitely a must!
"Jack Ruby Presents The Black Foundation" is an essential purchase for those who are searching for classic roots reggae!

Teacher & Mr. T.