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  • Sun Ra Arkestra, Volume 2: Live In East Berlin 1986 and West Berlin 1983)
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Sun Ra Arkestra, Volume 2: Live In East Berlin 1986 and West Berlin 1983)

4 customer reviews

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1-Disc Version
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Editorial Reviews

Complete concert from West Berlin in 1983, featuring the Sun Ra All Stars (Lester Bowie, Don Cherry, John Gilmore, Marshall Allen, Philly Jo Jones, and Sun Ra), plus two 1986 concerts in East Berlin and a fragment from a French TV broadcast of 1970. All region NTSC, 153 minutes total playing time.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Sun Ra
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Transparency
  • DVD Release Date: November 10, 2009
  • Run Time: 153 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AYYVH4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,179 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Charles Wilson on November 1, 2005
Format: DVD
First, the easy part: the performances on this DVD are great, and far exceeded my expectations (I'm not as familiar with Ra's 80s work as much as his earlier work).

However, the picture quality makes this DVD almost unwatchable. The East Berlin concerts look like 4th-generation VHS tapes were used as the source material. Why weren't the masters used? Moreover, this appears to have been pressed on a single-layer DVD. This means that the picture had to be compressed which results in an overwhelming amount of digital blurring/pixelation of the picture (at times it looks like you're watching it on an Atari 2600). There's no reason to charge $18 for what is essentially a $1.50 bootleg DVD. I sincerely hope that Transparency addresses these quality issues in future releases. Supposedly, they plan on releasing 35 hours of Sun Ra's work; it would be a shame if it was all as unwatchable as this release it.

As for the sound quality, it's serviceable. The instruments are distinct, and there isn't too much distortion. But again, was any attempt made by the producers to track down the masters for these concerts?
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bennett Theissen on November 30, 2005
Format: DVD
I am simply amazed that this DVD exists, and that it is part of a series that will be coming out over the next couple years of an extraordinary archive of Ra video recordings. What I know is that these concerts are all official, not bootleg, and they come from Ra's own people. Yes, they do come from videotapes of the original European broadcasts and are not "master" videos, but they are what is available, and they do satisfy. We certainly have been spoiled by far less interesting videos of far less interesting artists in better quality over the last 20 years, but that doesn't make these shows worthless by any means. Ra video is so rare I've seen collectors go crazy over copies of their SNL appearance. These are full performances. The audio is clean and clear, and you can see what's going on. Besides, have you ever listened to original Saturn Research lp's sold at Ra shows? This is at least the equivalent of that.

What it comes down to is, if you're a Ra fan, you need this. And it's just the beginning!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 1, 2006
Format: DVD
Only a real die hard Sun Ra fan will appreciate this video. True enough the visual quality is lacking, but a true lover of Sun Ra will sit and just enjoy the music. For me, this rare footage,is never seen before stuff for a younger jazzer like me. If you really dig Sun Ra, just sit back and listen!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Sun Ra Arkestra performances on video(bootleg or legit)are difficult to find in Europe or North America. When they do appear it might be wise for interested persons to buy this stuff while they can because it may soon become extinct. Two of the live performances here were originally broadcast on European television where some ambitious person recorded the television broadcast of these shows onto a VHS tape recorder. I am speaking of the East and West Berlin shows not the French show. Appearing here on Transparency Video, the West Berlin show involves the Sun Ra All Stars with Archie Shepp, Lester Bowie, Richard Davis, Philly Joe Jones, Clifford Jarvis, John Gilmore, Marshall Allen, Don Moye and Elo Omoe. The video, though grainy has very good sound and inspired playing on behalf of the all star band. The East Berlin show (grainy too)is the same performance appearing on the Leo cd of Sun Ra Live In East Berlin but the video contains the complete set. Here the Arkestra is in rare form as the musical madmen work then go berserk playing with intergallactic abandon. Wow! Somewhere there exists a good recording of these shows, and if they ever turn up, the world will see the real Sun People, what and how they played.
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