A friend once described watching Jimmy Scott sing at a nightclub in lower Manhattan; the audience included director Martin Scorsese, actor Robert De Niro and a few of what one might call Damon Runyon characters. “You wouldn’t have believed it,” this friend recalled. “Grown men were crying.” Indeed, there’s something transcendent about the voice and sublime phrasing of this septuagenarian jazz singer, who is able to convey and transform pain, deeply felt, into something timeless and beautiful. On this small-group outing, recorded in 2000 and 2001, Scott takes on 10 classics, from “Since I Fell for You” and “We’ll Be Together Again” to “Yesterday,” a song often mangled by singers from the cabaret tradition. Backed by piano, harmonica, bass and drums, he gives it a reading worthy of Billie Holiday.