A rarity. Cesar Pueyrredon with his group Banana doing symphonic-progressive rock. Instrumental at times refer to a certain Genesis post Gabriel, but the voice of Caesar immediately returns us to reality………….
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….by GruvanDahlman ………. 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…..by b olariu …………
Line-up / Musicians - Alberto Bengolea / guitars (5) - Miguel Cerviño / bass (4-6) - Juan Gelly / guitars - Pablo Gullot / guitars (4) - Toro Martinez / drums (5) - Fori Mattaldi / bass (1-3) - José Luis Meniño / drums (1-3) - Arturo Parona / drums (4,6) - Cesar Pueyrreden / vocals, keyboards - Jose Torres Zavaleta / saxophone
Tracklist A1 El Escultor Y La Estatua 9:23 A2 Un Hombre En La Hoguera 6:06 A3 Aún Es Tiempo De Soñar 5:50 B1 Vispera 9:47 B2 Preguntas Al Cielo 10:00 B3 Quien Se Acordará 2:10