George H. Pro, that is (nyuk nyuk). (Apologies right away to Mr. Pro for the terrible pun).
I found the record "Outburst of Joy at Christmas" at a local thrift store this year and, as it was in pretty good shape, paid my dollar and went merrily on my way. Fast forward to ripping for sharing time, and I looked at it and thought "yet another organ music record" and almost decided to skip it. Then I looked at the back cover and saw that George H. Pro was a local Kansas City guy. Well, then I couldn't pass it up - I had to rip and share. Especially after all the glowing reviews on the back cover, from the University of Kansas Professor Emeritus of Organ (really!), from the Minister of Music at the KC, MO First Baptist Church, and from the Vocal Music Director of KC, KS Public Schools (yes folks, we have a Kansas City, Missouri as well as a Kansas City, Kansas in these parts).
So, I ripped the record and have it here for you tonight. And let me tell you, on my honor, this is probably the best record of Christmas Organ music I have ever heard. It is strictly Mr. Pro solo on mostly Christmas standards, but he plays with an energy and power that exceeds all other Christmas organ albums. Side 1 (tracks 1-8) are good, very enjoyable, and expertly performed. The tracks on Side 2 seem to really pick it up, though. The performances of "In Dulci Jubilo", "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring", and "Jesu Bambino" are an excellent trio of traditional spiritual songs.
Then it gets interesting. "Noel in D Minor" will catch your attention. Rarely heard (at least by me), this is a great selection for a powerful organist in total command of his instrument. But then comes "Outburst of Joy". Let's talk about "Outburst of Joy". When I was ripping the record, my 16 year old son asked "Is this Christmas music? Sounds like Halloween.". And indeed, if there was ever a 'Phantom of the Opera Christmas Opus', here it is in the form of "Outburst of Joy" by Messiaen. "Outburst of Joy" is a loud, powerful, energetic piece for an organ maestro. It may not sound like a typical Christmas song, but man is it full of glory! Mr. Pro should be proud of this record, and of "Outburst of Joy" in particular. You have to hear it, dear readers. Please download, listen, and comment.
So, please enjoy "Outburst of Joy at Christmas" by George H, Pro.