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Sound Check

Instead of watching oversexed Melrose Place characters sleeping around every Monday night, a better way to charge up the libido is to listen to Valerie Tyson's sultry R&B song stylings at Mango's in Fort Lauderdale.

I went to check out the award-winning singer on a recent Monday night, and she was bathed in auburn light as the 11 p.m. set was just getting underway. Her first song was a breathy take on Sade's "Your Love is King." Another song (the Isley Brothers' "For the Love of You") and two beers later, I was smitten with Tyson and her sensuous take on old tunes.

The crowd at Mango's was with me. No arm seemed twisted when some yuppie twentysomethings, handsomely dressed Las Olas couples, and other aroused, or perhaps slightly intoxicated, late-night patrons took to the dance floor next to the slightly raised stage.

In addition to earning regional accolades, Tyson has taken part in many of the big local events. She appeared last summer in the Starlight Musical Concert at Holiday Park in Fort Lauderdale, and she performed in West Palm Beach's annual SunFest in 1995 and 1996, and in the Coconut Grove Arts Festival in 1992.

Tyson performs on Sunday and Monday nights at Mango's with the impressively tight George Tandy Band and on Thursday nights (with her own band) at Jazid on sexy South Beach.

"She's a new addition to Jazid, but she's making sure that people know who she is," claims Jazid co-owner Michelle McKinnon. "She's got tons of energy and they're already coming back to see her.


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