Known for her deep, full-bodied vocal tone and atypical choice of material, Cassandra Wilson is arguably the best jazz singer of her generation. Over the years, she’s navigated the choppy rhythms of funk, embraced folk strains, and collaborated with rock musicians. (She's even recorded the 1966 Monkees hit, “Last Train to Clarksville,” and Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay.”) On Loverly, Wilson mostly sticks to standards and she sounds wonderful. Backed by a top-notch band — guitarist Marvin Sewell, pianist Jason Moran, bassist Lonnie Plaxico, drummer Herlin Riley, and percussionist Lekan Babalola — she makes the old new again. Her version of “Caravan” is remarkable: Wilson puts her inimitable stamp on the Ellington/Tizol classic while Babalola’s percussion adds to the track’s rhythmic drive, and Sewell’s guitar takes the warhorse to brand new places. You rarely hear slide guitar on a jazz album, but a version of Johnson’s “Dust My Broom” features Sewell’s fine slide along with Wilson’s inventive vocals. Loverly closes strongly with the band swinging their way through “A Sleepin’ Bee,” a gem from the 1954 Harold Arlen and Truman Capote musical, House of Flowers.

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