Her publicist sent me an album to review and said she was an "out" artist and didn't reply to my emails asking what that meant (lesbian, bisexual, queer, trans, genderqueer...). I couldn't find any reference to her sexual orientation or gender identity on the internet, except for a few other media outlets repeating the "out artist" line.
So I put the review after the jump because I had already written it up.
KJ Denhert Dal Vivo a Umbria Jazz
Motema Music, 2008
KJ Denhert's recent live release, Dal Vivo a Umbrio Jazz, tries to and succeeds in creating a cool modern jazz club mood. Sophisticated and smooth, but not at all smarmy, this live recording comes with all the modern jazz accouterments: a slow piano, distorted guitars, strong bass guitar, and a trumpet. Yes, there is a lot of trumpet.
Denhert's strength is her technical skill - extended instrumentals within and at the end of each track are the most interesting parts of the album. The arrangements stay true to jazz convention, giving the album a sense of mathematical complexity that's refreshing and easy to listen to.
She's a talented singer - her voice sounds like a mellower Melissa Etheridge, or a smoother Elton John. The instrumentals, though, do provide some relief from the song's lyrics, which, at times, are tiring and cringe-worthy if you're not ready for some of her pronouncements ("I wish I could fly like a bird on the wing," "Blown by the four winds to the seven seas").
Overall, great album. It makes me think of wine-tasting tours or cocktail parties, light and refreshing. It's either for that set or for jazz aficionados.