Art Ensemble of Chicago
March 13 1976
Empty Foxhole
Philadelphia, PA
master audience cassette > cdr (recorded and transferred transferred by orchiddoctor)
cdr > eac(secure mode) > peak pro 5.2(adjust volume, trim wave files) > flac(level 6) (tracked/edited by carville, no noise reduction)

total time 170:51

1st set 88:51
1 improv (tape flip) 61:20
2 cont'd 27:30

2nd set 81:59
1 Reese and the Smooth Ones, Odwalla (tape flip) 39:56
2 cont'd 42:03

Lester Bowie
Malachi Favors Maghostut
Joseph Jarman
Roscoe Mitchell
Famoudou Don Moye

notes from orchiddoctor:
The Foxhole was in the basement of Saint Mary's Church on the University of Pennsylvania campus. It was funded by the University. The Foxhole was a theater with a stage--it used to be used for plays, etc. They served natural foods between sets. Very good acoustics. It hosted mostly avant-garde music on the weekends, especially Philly players and New York groups. Locals included Sunny Murray with Khan Jamal and Byard Lancaster (and the other two fronting bands), Sun Ra and a few lesser knowns; and the likes of the AEC, Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, and, this was at my first show, a young and recently arrived David Murray. The Sam Rivers Trio with Holland and Altschul also played there. Here is a link to that show:

When the AEC did their first shows at the Empty Foxhole in 1976, I still lived in Cleveland. I was getting ready to move to Philly when I heard the band was going to play there. Naturally, I went both nights. The highlight for me was Reese and the Smooth Ones. Remember, Baptism was the most recent release, so there were only a handful of lps, most of which contained one or two songs. While The Spiritual might have been my favorite, Reese was just as good as far as I was concerned (they are still favorites). When Roscoe hit the first note, I knew I was in the right place. When I went up to D.C. to retrieve the tapes, this is first one I listened to. I was an old friend. Enjoy.

As a footnote: it took three years to get these back as my friend was fearful of shipping them due to magnetic issues or potential loss. We tried to find someone, anyone who might be driving to Atlanta. No luck. Finally, I flew to D.C. last August, got the tapes, and took an hour clearing them through the airport. I digitized the bunch of them and sent copies to C. Now we have to figure out how to get them back to D.C.!
#4505141 by dliss_nj at 2011-01-18 04:37:58 GMT
Here's a paragraph from Philadelphia Weekly (4/9/08 - about "Geno's Empty Foxhole" and "The Long March Coffeehouse" on Rittenhouse Square.

'Starting in the early �70s, Geno�s Empty Foxhole, in the basement of St. Mary�s Church at 39th and Locust, was where the Arkestra, Charles Mingus, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Cecil Taylor, the Art Ensemble of Chicago and others played memorable shows. By the middle of the decade, according to Elliott Levin, the Long March Coffee House provided an outlet for jazz freaks on Rittenhouse Square, of all places. �It would be open until 4 or 5 in the morning,� Levin recalls. �There was kind of a socialist agenda. It was in the basement of this high-rise building, and they were paying the rent one welfare checks.� '

A good friend of mine from my Philly days told a story about when he was an undergrad at Penn he saw Mingus at St. Mary's Church in the early 70s. The band's instruments had been stolen from their vehicle (if you ever lived in Philly, man...). All the instruments had been found and returned by showtime except the drum set, which the cops march out onto the stage just after the show went on - and the band breaks into the Pink Panther theme for the procession.


#4506984 by dliss_nj at 2011-01-19 03:40:49 GMT
I'm sure I'm hitting this torrent too late for anyone to read this story, but after last night's attempt at retelling it, I emailed my friend, the great Philly musician Heath Allen, and he sent me the corrected version - plus a few more notes on the Foxhole. This version has a better song. From Heath's note...

"The Art Ensemble Show that I remember was in the actual St Mary's church
(probably presented by the Empty Foxhole sometime during its twilight years)
They were delayed by a snow storm and didn't start until 4 in the morning.
They may have played in the basement another time, but I don't think so.

"The club Geno's Empty Foxhole (later to become The Empty Foxhole) was a tiny
club in the basement of St Mary's. Saw Mingus, Shepp, Jaki Byard, Anthony
Braxton w/ Dave Holland, Pat Martino, Sun Ra....many greats there. Jazz
was at its nadir so big names had to stoop low to get gigs (kinda like

"Your story is pretty close to how I remember it. Some details: It was
Saturday night. Mingus started the set with Charles McPherson on sax and
Pat Bone on piano. Dannie Richmond sitting in the audience none too
pleased (drums stolen after Friday night show). A neighborhood "connected"
guy who was also a jazz fan told Geno he'd get the drums back. Halfway
through the first set about 5 Philly cops in black leather coats (it was the
Rizzo years) came down the aisle, each one carrying one drum or cymbal still
on its stand. Band broke out into the Dragnet theme. Dannie directed cops
to set-up drums and then went into a wild 15 minute "I got my drums back"

Even more classic - as would be a recording of the 4am AEC show from unknown date.

If anyone reads this, please PM me - feels like I'm nailing my standup routine in front of an empty house.