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"Recording in the studio with Keezer was probably the easiest and most fun process I've ever been a part of," said San Diego vocalist Leonard Patton about his latest CD, Expressions, recorded at local guitar hero Peter Sprague's Spragueland Studio in July.

The album is a freewheeling duet featuring the soulful, burnished tenor of Patton and the internationally acclaimed piano virtuoso Geoffrey Keezer.

The two musicians are celebrating the release of their collaboration on Sept. 29, at Anthology.

Although he resides in San Diego, Keezer continues to work most often outside the city, touring the United States and around the globe with artists like vibraphonist Joe Locke and saxophonist Tim Garland.

One possible precedent for the music on Expressions is the duet CD Play by pianist Chick Corea and vocalist Bobby McFerrin. There is a similar feeling of empathic intuition and devil-may-care adventurism.

"There is a nice sense of ebb and flow between Keezer and I," says the singer, adding, "it's very much a collaboration...a lot of give and take on this record."

Patton has also been working with Sprague for years.

"Leonard Patton is one of my all time favorite musicians," said Sprague, "He has this incredible voice, and he's also a great trumpet player and saxophonist," referring to Patton's very McFerrin-esque abilities to solo imitating the sound of various horn and string instruments.

Expressions features three originals by Patton that reflect his diverse influences, which span the wide arc from pop star Stevie Wonder to free-jazz iconoclast Ornette Coleman.

There are seven "covers" on the record with an equally eclectic list of source material, ranging from the Tears For Fears classic, "Everybody Wants To Rule The World", to the Lifehouse hit, "Hanging By A Moment."

Patton's smoky tenor revisits Wonder's gospel inflected, "Love's In Need Of Love Today," which fits him like a glove, given his depth of experience in the genre.


Expressions is a heady document, with, "just the right mix of pre-composed material and magic made in the moment," says Sprague, who ought to know, since he engineered the sessions.

Come to Anthology to see how it all plays out. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $10-$26.

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