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BANANA

Symphonic Prog • Argentina


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Banana biography
Formed by Cesar Banana Pueyrredon (b. in Buenos Aires, 1952), BANANA play a somewhat typical symphonic prog with a strong emphasis on guitar and vocals. The youngest of eight children, Cesar's rather timid disposition prompted him to take refuge in piano playing. He took lessons, attended the Catholic University (Argentina) and got together with brothers and friends for a few jams. Eventually, they decided to take on the name BANANA and in 1979, they released an album which boasted honourable sales in South America (Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama).

Their album, entitled "Aun Es Tiempo De Sonar", is at times very good, at times quite average prog. The music shows a variety of influences ranging from YES to NEKTAR, FOCUS, KAIPA, GENESIS and CAMEL. Though their sound is very melodic and the guitar most prominent, the rhythm section is pretty basic and the keyboards (mostly Fender Rhodes) are usually relegated to the background. As for the vocals, they are fairly abundant but sound rather AORish, or crooner style, if you like. What this album lacks is perhaps a little Latin flair - something similar to what their fellow countrymen ESPIRITU do. This definitely would give their material a bit more punch and originality.

Certainly not essential but has its fine moments, if only for the few times the synths burst forth, adding a whole new dimension to their sound.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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3.40 | 32 ratings
Aun Es Tiempo De Sonar
1979

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 Aun Es Tiempo De Sonar by BANANA album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.40 | 32 ratings

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Aun Es Tiempo De Sonar
Banana Symphonic Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars There are albums you seem unable to rid yourself of. Albums that stick to your brain and being in that very special way. No matter how the years trickle down it's path into eternity the album remains as strong a beacon as ever on life's path. Banana's "Aun es tiempo de soñar" is one of those. For years I have found myself intrigued by it. The name may not be your standard proggish one and though I have grown accustomed to it I will never be heard saying "Now there's the best name in prog".

About 10 years ago I let the album (in CD format) slip out of my hands in favor of Magma's debut. Whilst I adore that album by the crazy zeuhler's in Magma, I have come to regret the decision. It has been 10 long years of trying to get a hold of a copy in CD format. So I haven't excactly devoted all my time in the search, like a prog Indiana Jones, but you get my drift. Just the other day I was fortunate enough to find it in a beautiful papersleeve edition. I was trembling with excitement, I can tell you. At last! The exodus had come to an end. We were finally reunited, Banana and I.

And what about the music? Is this simply a forum for my memoirs? Certainly not. It is primarily a forum for music, so before I drag you all down the path of boredom I will set sail for the proggy garden of the band called Banana.

Who's to say that prog needs to be overly complex? Must the nature of progressive rock at all times be one of impenetrable forests, unclimbable mountains and depths of unfathomable dimensions? I think there needs to be complexity but it need not be overly complex just for the sake of it. It's all about variety, dimension and (in fact) capaility.

To say that Banana offers the most groundbreaking, complex and challenging prog on Earth would be a lie of gargantuan proportions. The music is rather a blend of slightly complex bits and very accessible ones. It could be likened to Camel or Supertramp (if one is to stretch it a bit). One could say it holds similarities to a jazzier Camel flirting with a slightly smoother Supertramp, I guess. It holds both pop, AOR and progressive elements. I do hear echoes of Wakeman's "Journey to the center of the Earth" aswell. It makes up for a delicate and very enjoyable mixture, keeping my interest high.

Keyboards are in the front seat and offers a variety of those. I love keyboards so I find it very pleasing. However, the remaining instruments are as equally compelling, giving texture and structure to this tasteful blend. To me the music resembles deep, dark space where the electric piano acts as glimmering stars in that bewildering universe known as our galaxy. The music is very floating, smooth and emotional. And I love it when music gives me the sensation of gliding through space. It is a very soothing feeling.

The best and by far the most progressive tracks on this pearl of prog are the three longest ones. My favorite tracks are "Vispera" and "Preguntas Al Cielo". These two are magnificent pieces of flowing, gentle quite elaboate prog rock. "Vispera" showcases a great piano intro leading into a very effective guitar riff. Simple yet effective. The main track has to be "Preguntas Al Cielo" with spacey synthesizers and keyboards. The vocals are very pleasant throughout the album and fits in well with the gentleness and kindness of the album. The remaining tracks are all very enjoyable aswell, providing a more pop-rock sound with slightly progressive overtones. The concluding track "Quien Se Acordara" is a late-night jazzy little thing. It rounds off the album in a nice way.

Do not be fooled by me speaking of pop and rock. This is primarily a very nice symphonic prog album. A true work of love and honesty. This album has not diminished in quality over the years. rather it has solidified it's status with me as one of the finest albums coming out of South America in the 70's.

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 Aun Es Tiempo De Sonar by BANANA album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.40 | 32 ratings

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Aun Es Tiempo De Sonar
Banana Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The obscurity of this band maybe in their name.

Banana ? That is a type of fruit and a good band name if you do pop or even rock. But a prog rock band ? Nope. A good band name can break you or send you to the scrapheap. It is from the scrapheap this album was rescued from.

Banana does in-offensive generic prog rock in the vein of Yes, Camel and Genesis. I would also add Saga to the mix. The last two songs of this album reminds me about Saga from their Worlds Apart era. Banana's music is neat, at times pastoral and very Genesis from their Selling England By The Pound era. In other words; the golden era.

The quality is good throughout. The lack of identity is the major problem here. I don't think I would be able to get this album if put through a blind test. The album has a slight Latin flair (South American, Iberian and Italian) but that is all. But the music is good though with Un Hombre En La Hoguera as the best song. Another thing about this album is that it is not the Moog or Hammond fest as I expected. There are far more guitars here than the usual Genesis clone fest. That is a positive in my book. This is a good album, but nothing more.

3 stars

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 Aun Es Tiempo De Sonar by BANANA album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.40 | 32 ratings

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Aun Es Tiempo De Sonar
Banana Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Banana is an obscure argentinian band from late'70's formed around Cesar Banana Pueyrreden, the name is taken from the main man of the band and the main composer. The music is very influenced by european prog bands , specialy the one froom Britain, like Yes, Genesis or even in places some Camel , but as a whole this album named Aun es tiempo de sonar from 1979 sound very much like a latin american band to me. Very intristing ar chords arrangements, guitar has a very important role here, but also the keyboards did a good job, very much they sound like a late' 70's band but very nice and smooth. The music is from mellow to more up tempo where keyboards of Cesar Banana Pueyrreden sounded very lush and well melted with the rest of the instruments, some sax elements are added to give a proper atmosphere on Quien Se Acordara, but only for a couple of min. Banana has that typical latin american feel, specialy the voice is in that category, but also the music who manage to give us a good album , rather unnoticed but qwuite pleasent and with out many pretentious moments. 3 stars for sure more like 3.5, good towards great, but nothing close to an essential listning.

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 Aun Es Tiempo De Sonar by BANANA album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.40 | 32 ratings

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Aun Es Tiempo De Sonar
Banana Symphonic Prog

Review by Prog_Veteran

4 stars Don't get braked by the band title or unexpressive album cover, relax and taste this BANANA; the music in "Aun es tiempo..." is simply beautiful, delicate, dreamy, uplifting, peaceful and emotional 1st class symphonic prog.

Mainly influences are YES, GENESIS or even some melodic FOCUS, but what keeps more rejoicing is the own band melodic Argentina expression. Yeah, the music is more in accessible side, probably not requiring repeated listens to grow on like more adventure Argentina bands such as ALAS, MIA, BU BU, even so I highly recommend "Aun es tiempo..." as the proposal is perfectly reached, I mean the mood is in heart beauty art realm; to get pretty convincing is this field, is also a gift.

"Aun es tiempo de sonar" is a jewel; you have masterly placed organ, moog, ARP, electric piano by the band leader Cesar Pueyrredon (compositions comes from him) and his voice and chorus band are stellar (yeah sometimes his vocal interpretation talent can fit to AOR or popish side). Guitars comes in precise measure. Compositions are coherent and tight.

This BANANA can be compared with PABLO EL ENTERRADOR, but has the advantage of having perfect 70's studio sound production while the last suffers with sonic problems. The authentic south American melodic emotion can also be compared with the Venezuela masterpiece ESTRUCTURA "Mas alla?", but "Aun es tiempo?" is overall a more coherent album.

My 1991 Music Hall made in Canada CD has no band information; Friends told me that the other 4 albums by BANANA are commercial (?), being the only worth to prog ears this 1979 one. I can't take opinion as I never listened their other albums. The 70's rock movement in Argentina was largely more expressive than in Brazil. Here in brazilian seventies, record companies and mainstream critics gave value to brazilian popular music (MPB) as an original creation and rock acts were regarded as something like (my words) " foreign easy to play using loud electric instruments and silly lyrics" music. Funny to remind those times, anyway there are cool 70's prog brazilian bands like SOM NOSSO DE CADA DIA, O TERÇO and MUTANTES (prog phase). BACAMARTE could record only in the 80's.

I should had given 5 stars to "Aun es tiempo de sonar" as it is underrated, here in PA. This is one of the best prog albuns from South America and one of the best romantic prog albuns I know.

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 Aun Es Tiempo De Sonar by BANANA album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.40 | 32 ratings

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Aun Es Tiempo De Sonar
Banana Symphonic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars Despite this being the most unlikely name for a prog band I’ve ever seen, this is a decent symphonic rock album. It’s a little confusing though, coming out of Argentina but having almost no Latin characteristics whatsoever. This could just as easily been an ELP knockoff band or Atlantis Philharmonic or Crucible or any number of b-list, European-influenced symphonic bands of that era. Except that the vocals aren’t in English; but they aren’t in Spanish either even though the group is from Argentina – they are Portuguese.

The other difference from most symphonic bands is that there is a lot more emphasis on electric guitar, and mostly at the expense of keyboards which play a noticeable but somewhat diminished role. There are some nice synthesizer arrangements here and there, like the strings and organ on the “Un Hombre en la Hoguera” trilogy, and some stilting keyboard progressions on “Preguntas al Cielo” that place the music on the eighties side of the decade change that occurred around the time this released.

But the guitar is the preeminent instrument here, played by various musicians throughout but equally featured on almost every track. The vocals are unexceptional, and were it not for the instrumental arrangements this could just have easily been one of those slightly pretentious acts that Don Francisco invites onto Sábado Gigante once and a while to keep the older folks interested.

This is decent music, very professionally played and with enough nods to several British prog acts of the seventies to convince you the members of the band really listened to that kind of music and liked it. “Vispera” is the most obvious example, with keyboard progressions I’ve heard before from Kansas, Jon Lord and even Genesis. But that’s the point I suppose - there is little here that I haven’t heard before in one form or another.

The group and their one album were the project of Argentinean musician Cesar ‘Banana’ Pueyrredon, who has since gone on to a long and fruitful career (unintentional pun there!) making more mainstream music. This one gets barely a mention in his biography today.

A mildly interesting if rather obscure collection of music that is worth a spin or two if you happen across it, but more as a curiosity than something you’d want to go out of your way to add to your collection. Three stars is fair, and recommended to collectors who are always in the market for something a little different, but not very much so.

peace

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 Aun Es Tiempo De Sonar by BANANA album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.40 | 32 ratings

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Aun Es Tiempo De Sonar
Banana Symphonic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This band goes for an award concerning the 'The Most Obvious Non Prog Band Name', how could they have come up with "Banana" while making prog?! But the music will take away any cynical thoughts about Banana because this one shot band has delivered a fine album entitled Aun Es Tiempo De Sonar (1979). The six compositions are drenched into the Classic Seventies Prog tradition with strong hints from Yes, Genesis and Camel. The music is very melodic but quite mellow, in my opinion a bit too. But the keyboards sound very lush (wonderful string-ensemble and Banks-inspired synthesizers), the guitar work is beautiful and at some moments we can enjoy saxophone. The vocals contain that typical, a bit wailing Latin-American undertone, this gives Banana their prog an extra dimension. A pleasant symphonic prog album, no more or less in my opinion.



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