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Michałkowice, Upper Silesia, Poland under soviet occupation (1971 – 1980, 1991 – present)

SBB a truly international progressive rock band formed in 1971 in Michałkowice, Upper Silesia, Poland under soviet occupation, by Silesian multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Józef Skrzek, born in Michałkowice, Greek guitarist Apostolis Anthimos - son of Greek immigrants, born in Stalinogród (Stalin Town) and a descendant of Tatar medieval nobles, drummer Jerzy Piotrowski, born in Stalinogród (Stalin Town) too.

The bands name SBB, accidentally a provocation itself, reminded on SB - the hated polish-soviet secret security service Służba Bezpieczeństwa. Against all odds, already in 1972 the musicians performed behind the “Iron Curtain” with Czesław Niemen at the Jazz & Rock Now! opening show for the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, where they shared stage with John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra and Charles Mingus and subsequently toured with Jack Bruce.

Already in 1973 a “secret service” SB agent colonel Romuald Skopowski alias “Julian Matej” (the pseudonym derived from a GeStaPo agent Julia Mathea or Mateja responsible for the 1941 public execution of Józef Skrzek, the uncle of Józef Skrzek) unrecognized at that time, started to invigilate and manipulate the band - Skopowski (Matej) became the lyrics author of most SBB’s songs.

Although basically a rock band, SBB was one of the front runners in the development of, what was later called, jazzrock or fusion along with Weather Report, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin and Miles Davis - that fact found an early entry in Joachim-Ernst Berendt’s encyclopaedia of jazz.


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