Personnel: Tony Bell, Norman Harris, Roland Chambers, Bobby Eli (guitar); Theodore Life (harmonica); Cotton Kent, Ron Kersey (piano); Vince Montana (vibraphone); Earl Young, Charlie Collins (drums).
Recording information: Sigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia, PA.
Photographer: David Gahr.
Arrangers: Vince Montana; Jack Faith; Norman Harris; Ron Kersey; Bobby Eli.
Blue Magic's sublime sophomore effort manages to retain the delicate beauty of their debut while summoning a more confident, robust approach to group harmony. The Magic of the Blue is above all a celebration of the human voice in all its myriad forms of expression. Whether transcending contrived ballads like "Three-Ring Circus" (a bland rewrite of the earlier hit "Sideshow") or soaring on the strength of up-tempo dance tunes like the excellent title cut, Blue Magic's harmonies are impeccable, showcased by arrangers Norman Harris, Bobby Eli, and Vince Montana in a series of elegant, richly detailed contexts as unique to Philadelphia as the Liberty Bell. ~ Jason Ankeny