The flutist Joce Mienniel is never really where we expect him to be. But how could we complain about that when he releases an album as successful as Babel. We loved the distressing, neurotic sounds of Tilt and the albums he made with the Art Sonic ensemble; now, in Babelhe revisits the spirit of traditional music heritage from the Middle East and India.

On the album, he is accompanied by the Pakistani Sharif Khan (sitar), the Syrian Lyad Haimour (oud, qanun, ney), the Macedonian Stracho Temelkowski (mandol, bendir) as well as Joachim Florent (double bass) and Antony Gatta who dazzles us with his oriental percussion.

Everything is thoughtful, yet remains distinct from intellectualism. It concerns history but doesn’t feel like fossilization. It doesn’t feel pedantic either, or like it will ever drift into evanescence. There is too much vital energy in the communion of exchanges and playful creativity on display.

Several of the virtuoso flutist’s compositions make you want to dance, to whistle along with the melody. “Medina Coura, which includes an mbira, a sitar, strings and a madness of Oriental percussion, is the synthesis of an album where all the musicians speak a shared language, one based on rooted modernity and references to the myth of the tower of Babel.


Joce MiennielBabel [Buda Musique]

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