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Sandman Project: Where Did You Go?


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Sandman Project: Where Did You Go?
Anyone who has made multiple visits to Goa, where they formed the Goa Afrobeat Band—as Tel Aviv-based guitarist and composer Tal Sandman has done—is self-evidently on the right team. Sandman lives in the Jaffa neighbourhood in southside Tel Aviv, an area in which Jews and Arabs live cheek by jowl, and diverse cultures co-exist, and where, according to the press materials for Where Did You Go?, war in Israel and Gaza has strengthened rather than weakened crosscultural bonds within the community. One hopes that is still true.

Sandman first came to AAJ's attention in 2018 with her Sandman Project's Royal Family (Batov), reviewed here. The EP is a freewheeling blend of Ethio-jazz, the John Lee Hooker-informed desert blues of Mali's Ali Farka Toure, and traces of late 1960s/early 1970s West African psychedelic rock. On Where Did You Go?, the band's first full-length album, Sandman has added South Indian music to the genre-bending mix, along with funk grooves and nods to the Heath Robinson analog-synth adventures of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in the 1950s and 1960s.

Sandman says that the inspiration for Royal Family was saxophonist Abatte Barihun, who continues to be her mentor in 2024. An Ethiopian Jew, born in Addis Ababa and resident in Israel since 1999, Barihun is a modal-based player and is sometimes, inevitably, called the Ethiopian John Coltrane. From him, Sandman has learned the intricacies of the Ethiopian tezeta mode, which has similarities to the African American blues scale and is a taproot of Ethio-jazz.

Sandman Project's lineup has changed since 2018, with a new bassist and drummer. But trumpeter Tal Avraham, an Ethio-jazz adept and with Sandman the co-centerpiece of the band's sound, remains, as does producer and occasional keyboard player Tomer Baruch. The new lineup is featured on the YouTube below, performing "Karnataka," the opening track on Where Did You Go?. Sandman based the piece on the music she heard at a Goa wedding party.

Track Listing

Karnataka; Intro Based On Fire; Where Did You Go; Cauda Equina; Chinese Box; Temptations & Figs; The X Files; Before The Storm; The Other Side.


Tal Sandman
guitar, electric
Tal Avraham
Ariel Harrosh
bass, electric
Tal Eyal
Additional Instrumentation

Tomer Baruch: synth and organ; Dafna Shilon: vocals (10).

Album information

Title: Where Did You Go? | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Batov Records

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