March 1, 2024

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CD review: Frau Contra Bass – Kiss & Cry 2022: Video, CD cover

Following the debut FrauContraBass, Saal 3 and Comes Love, the two have amazed us for the fourth time with an unexpected richness of sound. They really came up with many exciting arrangements for Kiss + Cry.

The name of a duo can be so simple and yet aptly playful: Frau Contra Bass. The duo of singer Katharina Debus and double bass player Hanns Höhn does not work against each other – they really harmonize perfectly with each other. The virtuosity of the two musicians jumps out at you from the first moment of their new album “Kiss & Cry” without being overwhelmed by it – it is simply there and leaves nothing to be desired for other instruments in this duo. Although there are one or two guest musicians to be welcomed here and there.

What CD? The title is disturbing! Is that the awkward description of the cast? Are unusual conflicts discussed? Whatever: female voice and double bass captivate the listeners immediately. As a duo, economical in effort, just two voices, Katharina Debus and Hanns Höhn have been exploring the relationships between women and men for more than 10 years, humorously, drastically, sensitively musically with each other, but never without relationships.

Overflowing with expression, emotion, swing, humour, groove and timbre, Katharina Debus’ mezzo-soprano becomes a sensitive instrument in this jazz, soul and pop song. After a ten-year duo break, the duo presents Kiss and Cry with ten songs, from “White Paper” by Element of Crime to Ariana Grande’s “God Is A Woman”. The songs are covered, i.e. musically gutted, adapted, reinterpreted. The soul of the duo takes control of this music in an improvisational manner, and it comes alive in a fascinating way at numerous concerts in clubs and at festivals.

With music reduced to the essentials, the white emptiness of the paper of the partner relationship appears completely different, even if the trousers crocheted by the partner still end up in the Salvation Army container. But the intensity of the sensual female voice at least helps the listener away that the relationship is over and messed up. After Ariana Grande’s hit by the sensually beguiling siren Katharina Debus, the listener also likes to believe that God is probably more of a woman. The intimate harmony with the sonorous and sovereign double bass creates highly differentiated, minimalist vocal jazz at its finest, in which the experience of the SLIXS -Soprano and the sophistication of the vocal coach are fully sung.

Some of the songs undergo almost unreal reworkings, in which, for example, a quiet trumpet, a rough bass clarinet or an enigmatic choir get involved. This music condenses, reflecting the intensity of this longstanding musical relationship. The tracks on the CD brilliantly capture the spontaneity of the improvising musicians playing together. The whole thing ends with Stevie Wonder’s “It’s that love’s in need of love today”. Wonderful. The forthcoming CD is the fourth of the two. Fans will pounce on it. A supplement was omitted.

I like the fact that we worked more with overdubs this time. And the fact that we recorded it in my living room changed a lot of things. No one telling you that you have to go now. If we felt like recording at 01:00 am, we did it.
Also I just love to play the new stuff live. It’s such a great pleasure to work with such an incredible musician like Hanns for such a long time and it never ever gets boring. We have worked with both of the guest musicians many times, and we have known both of them for a very long time. Cornelius Borgolte, who plays the wonderful bass clarinet solo on “Weisses Papier” has even recorded 2 of our former records. So in short: love and skill,- interview with me said Katharina Debus.

1. Rather Be
2. Love Trip
3. Note To Self
4. Don’t Start Now
5. If It’s Magic
6. Weißes Papier
7. God Is A Woman
8. Another Day
9. Wolken
10. Tightrope
11. Love’s In Need Of Love Today

Hanns Höhn – bass
Katharina Debus – vocal

New CD – 2022 – Buy from here

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