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Underground Jam Review

Official Review

March 4th, 2009 1:25pm
Reviewed by David Acer
Over the past decade, the distinction between the words "underground" and "unknown" has become severely blurred by an increasingly liberal definition of the former. Technically, "underground" should refer to people in magic who, as David Drake once put it, "move along beneath the surface of events, quietly affecting and influencing the actions of their more public peers. They are highly respected, often consulted, and genuinely admired by the alert and intelligent in the magic community." None of the participants on this DVD fall into that category (at least not yet), not even my friend Jay Sankey, whose impact on the magic community has been very much overground since the first of his trailblazing material appeared in Richard�s Almanac nearly 30 years ago.

That bit of semantics aside, there are some great tricks on this DVD, including:

  • "Uniquely" (Jay Sankey), wherein an initialed quarter and a corner torn from a chosen card transpose to demonstrate that "objects which are totally unique often have a magical effect on each other."

  • "Razor Burn" (Eric Leclerc), an absurd effect wherein a disposable razor changes instantly into a matchbook, but even though there is little motivation for the change, it looks so freakin' good you'll probably want to try it immediately after learning the work.

  • "Key-Oh-Nee Buh-Lo-Nee" (Jeff Stone), wherein the magician removes the key to his "10 million dollar mansion" from his key chain, has a spectator hold the key chain (and remaining keys) in his hand, then the key vanishes from the magician's hand (both hands are shown empty), only to be found back on the keychain.

  • "Final Cap in Bottle" (Eric Leclerc), a no-gimmick, no-nonsense cap-in-water-bottle that looks great.

  • "T-Bone" (Jay Sankey), an impromptu "quickie" that starts out looking a lot like Card Warp, but ends up being a surprising torn-and-restored card effect.

You'll also learn other fun tricks, and the many useful sleights that make them work, including a basic top change, Ed Marlo's In Lieu of the Thru-the-Fist Flourish, the Mercury Card Fold, a technique for sleeving a packet of cards, a Richard Ross method for ditching a thumbtip (which, incidentally, fooled me), A.T.F.U.S., Brother John Hamman's Flushtration Count, the Ascanio Spread, and more.

Overall, I think this DVD could have been improved by giving viewers an opportunity to see these magicians perform their contributions for real people in a normal (even if casual) setting. As it stands, they only show the tricks to each other, which results in a slightly skewed vibe during the performance segments. But I understand that this is a lecture DVD, not a performance DVD, and with so many original, commercial routines on it, Underground Jam is easy to recommend.

David Acer

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Underground Jam

Author: Jay Sankey
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $25.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

In the spring of 2005 Jay sent out a world-wide request for audition videos featuring original material from unknown magicians. In response, performers from more than a dozen countries submitted more than 200 tapes and DVDs! From this mountain of submissions Jay and his team unanimously selected Joe Diamond, Eric Leclerc and Jeff Stone.

A few months later, Jay, Joe, Eric and Jeff met up in Toronto and over a couple of days taped an outstanding collection of close-up magic and mentalism including 20 effects with matchbooks, coins, playing cards, keys, film canisters, wrist watches, chewing gum, water bottles and magic markers. Here are just a few...

    The torn corner of a playing card and a marked coin impossibly change places!
    A disposable razor visibly transforms into a book of matches!
    One of the cleanest, tightest color changing deck routines you will ever learn!
    An initialed coin vanishes and reappears in a just-examined film canister!
    A marvelously practical "rising card" handling!
    A super visual, lo-tech "Twisting the Aces" routine. You'll learn it, you'll do it!
  • MAGI
    A sandwich effect with a mind-blowing surprise ending!
    The spectator's signed card appears folded-up under the magicians wrist watch!
    The "last word" on cap-in-water-bottle effects!
  • T-BONE
    A widly visual torn and restored card effect that starts and finishes absolutely clean!

Running Time Approximately 135min

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