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Leslie Brown

Save for a rousing take on Duke Ellington's "Caravan," Leslie Brown's Tenderly is an unhurried affair — and that's as it should be, because the singer's relaxed delivery is suited to songs that are slow and slinky, such as opener "He Must Be in Love" and the gorgeous title track. Even the Champs' normally upbeat "Tequila" is slowed down a few notches, turned into a laid-back, swinging groove by drummer Ben Makinen, with some deft piano playing by Art Lande. Elsewhere, the Eagles' "Hotel California" and Pink Floyd's "Welcome to the Machine" get innovative jazzy treatments. Brown is in complete control of her voice, and there's a certain purity that runs throughout the disc, which is ideal for late-night listening.

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