Andy James’ latest album, Caravan showcases the rare artistic feat where a vocalist can dust off the emotionality of a timeless jazz standard with sensitivity and flair. Highlights on the album include the Ellington classic title track, an imaginative reading of the Beatles’ “Blackbird,” the 1946 chestnut by Matt Dennis and Earl Brent “Angel Eyes,” and Rogers and Hart’s “It Never Entered My Mind.” Throughout the album, Andy’s sensual vocals are sympathetically accompanied by a piano-driven jazz combo that can swing from the rafters when the tempo gets brisk, but also navigate ballad settings with silken grace. “Caravan” is a special selection as it was one of Andy’s mother’s favorite songs and the recording ties in with her background in dance. Her rendition boasts mystical Eastern tonality textures and an irresistible beat. If you listen very closely to the track’s rhythms, you can hear Andy’s fancy footwork as she dances to the track on a mic-ed wooden plank. On “Angel Eyes,” Andy’s rich-toned vocals and expressive vibrato conjure the song’s haunting hopelessness. The slow-burn beauty of “It Never Entered My Mind” is another achingly beautiful highlight.