Magic Sam Blues Band: Black Magic

An expanded reissue of Sam’s second album, from 1969.

Magic Sam Blues Band: Black Magic album artwork

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Some value Black Magic above its predecessor, West Side Soul. It’s not that the selection tilts more towards blues than soul – it does, but Sam was convincing in either idiom – but the far better studio sound enhances the great contributions of Eddie Shaw (tenor sax), Mighty Joe Young (guitar) and Lafayette Leake (piano) and conveys a band working together.

Among the highlights are the slow blues It’s All Your Fault Baby, but, as always with Sam, even the strongest performances don’t seem to fully extend him, and you’re left with a sense not just of loss but of frustration that he died with his talent incompletely realised. The original album has been bulked up with eight outtakes, most already issued on The Magic Sam Legacy.