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I was at a business conference a couple of weeks ago in Florida and had the privilege of hearing a band conducted by Perry Fotos. I was able to visit with him a little and he encouraged me to check out his website.

He has a boatload of 10 piece charts he's arranged and sells for 15 bucks a piece at his website. I was curious if anyone is familiar with Perry or if they have used his charts?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Anybody?
 

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It appears he used to play quite a bit in the Chicago area when he was younger. He must of "semi retired" in Southwest Florida.....

There has to be some old timers around here that may know of him. Where's Al Stevens? He's a Florida boy...
 

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Let us know how you like them. Perry let me thumb through the tenor book he had up on the bandstand as they were setting up. The charts were in large print that was very legible.
 

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Good evening ! I am a new member on the list.

I have been playing lead and jazz trumpet for the Perry Fotos big band in southwest FLorida for about ten years. When I first moved to southwest Florida, I actually worked in seven different big bands on an almost weekly basis ! Now, the only working band left is Perry's. If that is not a testament to his fine book, then I don't know what is !

We have done long term engagements at hotel ballrooms, conventions at the Ritz Carlton, street dances in the tony 3rd Street shopping district, and hundreds of appearances at the many country clubs and private clubs in the southwest Florida area. Perry actually has many fans who know his arrangements, and request them by name. Some even know what number the charts are in the book ! I have never worked in a big band with a fan base this strong.

As a professional player, I have appeared as a jazz soloist and lead player in concert with artists such as Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra,Jr. , Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops, The Temptaions, Dionne Warwick, and many others.

I can safely say that not only are Perry's charts the most "readable" I have ever run into to, but they are a sound investment for any band leader. Although Perry's working big band is only ten pieces, his charts make the band sound bigger than it really is, like a full-sized, swing era big band.

To quote one of my fellow section players on Perry's jobs,
"his arrangements almost play themselves !"

Mark Pettey
Trumpet/ Flugelhorn
Naples, FL
 

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Mark,

Welcome to the sax board!

I had the privilege of hearing you and the band the middle of June at the Marco Island Marriott. I wish the band could have played more of the full charts for us. Unfortunately, it was an awards night thing and you poor guys were forced to play a bunch of fill music while they went through all the blah blah blah.

I must say it was a very professionally run group and Mr. Fotos was a nice gentlemen to chat with. I did sneak a look in the "the book", with Perry's permission, and they were some of the best charts I've seen visually. Nice large print that was easily seen even the worst of lighting!
 

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Getting back to this topic.

Had a chance to play a couple of the charts that I bought and was very pleased. My band is a 10-piece [including female vocal] and they sounded good with the additional parts missing in this case [311 horns].

As others have noted, they have large notes and are easy to play on a sight read. They have an 'old style' sound to them. That's not a bad thing especially if you want to evoke the '30's and '40's big band sound. For gigs where you've got a mixed audience [eg - wedding gigs] of young and old, these charts will sound good for the older generation and I'll bet will get them onto the dance floor.

They will be good charts to bring out on dances and I'll likely end up getting a few more as time and money allow.
Ralph
 
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