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Sneaky Jesus plays against discrimination

What do a band from Wrocław, protests in Minneapolis and the Women’s Strike have in common? Listen to sneaky jesus’ 27-minute track “Minneapolis – Police Game”, which announces their debut album.

It’s a quartet, who mix free, traditions of polish jazz with funk, melancholy and fast narrative. Their debut album “For Joseph Riddle” will be released by the British label Shapes of Rhythm.

sneaky jesus consists of guitarist Maciej Forreiter, saxophonist Matylda Gerber, bassist Beniamin Łasiewicki and drummer Filip Baczyński. The drummer Michał Szczepaniec, trumpeter Wiktor Maternik and keyboardist Mariano De Ona Martinez also took part in recording the album.

They debut on 28 May, but today you can pre-listen to the 27-minute track “Minneapolis – Police Game”. The three-part composition, which opens with a frenetic drum solo by Baczynski, was written as a reaction to the protests in the US in 2020, which followed the murder of George Floyd.

– The circumstances in which this piece was created centred around the BlackLivesMatter movement, which we wanted to support. Despite the distance that separates us and the lack of direct contact with the local culture, we do not agree with any discrimination – says Maciej Forreiter.

Last year was also a huge wave of the Women’s Strike that took place in Poland (in the recording you can hear police sirens) due to the tightening of anti-abortion laws.

 – This is an anthem for all Polish women. The last part of this half-hour-long etude, however, is a glimpse into the future, where there is definitely a positive scenario and we believe in it! – explains Maciej Forreiter.

It’s also an opportunity to remind ourselves that jazz is engaged music. – If the artist has something to say, why shouldn’t (s)he do it? – explains Filip Baczyński. – Even such a simple thing as titling a composition is a strong statement, and this has been happening in jazz for a long time: “Alabama” by Coltrane, “Tutu” by Davies or “Uhuru Sasa” by Bartz. We cannot directly relate to the oppression these musicians had to face. But we are very grateful that we can play jazz and pay tribute to the wonderful culture from which it grew. If this culture faces injustice, we feel a duty to stand up for it as allies!

Listen to a preview of “Minneapolis – Police Game” here: