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Spurred on no doubt by the growing popularity of the “smooth” jazz radio format, singer/pianist Carol Welsman’s latest CD is a decidedly middle-of-the-road affair. Though she’s often billed as a “jazz” singer, Hold Me contains a whole lot of “pop” and precious little jazz. Welsman floats through this 12-track collection without ever breaking a sweat, rarely displaying the vocal/piano chops she’s famous for. Hold Me is a decent easy-listening album but, as Clara Peller used to say – “Where’s the beef?” Classic tunes like "Night and Day" mixed with modern-day compositions by pop stars like Sting and Billy Joel make for less than challenging fare. This is the sort of album that fans of Diana Krall, Canada’s other fetching singer/pianist, hope she never makes. ###