Midnight Clear CD Review:  Indie-Music.com
Reviewed by Dan MacIntosch

Joe Curry’s third CD, Midnight Clear, is also his first Christmas release. Curry, who was a regular pianist and cantor at his home parish at the tender age of 14, clearly senses the spiritual significance of this holiday season, and it shows here. This is a mostly serious and contemplative take on the holiday season.

Although Curry adds his own voice to a few of these tracks, such as “The Christmas Song,” this is primarily an instrumental album. He improvises instrumentally in many places here, but not so much so, though, that his playing obscures these familiar melodies. The slightly barrelhouse low notes added to “Frosty The Snowman” is a particularly nice touch. For obvious reasons, piano is this recording’s central focus, although it is also embellished by flute and French horn (as heard on “O Come All Ye Faithful”), as well as saxophone and cello in places.

There are plenty of Christmas hymns, such as “Angels We Have Heard On High,” “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Joy To The World” included here. Nevertheless, there is also a healthy selection of secular seasonal favorites, too. These popular tunes include “Frosty The Snowman,” “The Christmas Song,” and “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.” Most folks will recognize the most of this disc’s song choices, but the inclusion of the relatively unfamiliar “Once in Royal David’s City” is a welcome addition.

This CD arrived just as the Christmas music was being dusted off at our household. When Midnight Clear was played during Thanksgiving breakfast, it was an overwhelming success. Chances are good that this music will also go over just as well in your home during the holiday season.