Drummer and producer Teppo “Teddy Rok” Mäkynen, an experienced musician known from several noteworthy line-ups during the years, introduced a mysterious new act named The Stance Brothers to the public in 2007. Already the same year Ricky-Tick Records released the album Kind Soul and a live band was launched around the project, although it did not live for very long. What many people did not realize is that actually in studio The Stance Brothers was a one-man orchestra, where Teppo Mäkynen plays all the instrumental parts, except the ones performed by occasional guests on the songs, and these have been just mixed together. So basically you could call this one of his solo projects to be exact.
After the album and its singles there was one more 7” effort named “Pick ‘N’ Roll” released in 2008, but thus nearly everyone thought that The Stance Brothers had disappeared permanently. However, after a ten-year hiatus things changed into a comeback with the release of new singles issued by the Russian hard groove and funk label Spasibo as well as the split single “Minor Minor” with Olli Ahvenlahti, which was published by We Jazz Records. And since that they have put out even more 7’’ singles, so the project is truly alive again.
The Stance Brothers plays instrumental music based on groovy jazz-funk, soul and other roots-spirited black rhythms. It also led to a short-lived project with singer Johanna Försti named Jo Stance, who released a self-titled album album in 2010 and performed as a 7-piece live line-up for several sold out shows as well as on many remarkable festivals of the scene all the way from Funky Elephant to mass events such as Pori Jazz and Flow Festival.
Teppo “Teddy Rok” Mäkynen is a true multi-instrumentalist talent with a very active background among numerous reputed Finnish acts, such as Jesse Markin, The Five Corners Quintet, Timo Lassy Band and Tommy Lindgren Metropolis. He has also founded several of them himself, e.g. Teddy Rok Seven, which focuses on fusing both old and new rhythm music, and Teddy’s West Coasters, which was inspired by the jazz traditions of the 1950’s and 60’s. Mäkynen has also collaborated actively with both Finnish and as well as international artists, such as Nicola Conte. Lately, since 2019, he has been exploring more contemporary sound with saxophonist Timo Lassy, the project so far including 7” singles and a live album published by We Jazz Records.
Text: Joonas Kervinen / Funky Finland
2nd photo: Olli Sulin