\"It\'s funny, people aren\'t so much surprised that I have a band as much as they are that we\'re good,\" chuckles Malcolm-Jamal Warner, contemplating the buzz surrounding his jazz/funk band, Miles Long. Having performed to packed houses on the LA club circuit, playing in several jazz festivals, and opening for high profile acts such as Earl Klugh and Luther Vandross, Warner has finally released the debut EP, \"...the miles long mixtape..\" Warner comfortably and convincingly leads his crew through several head-bobbing tunes with heavy bass grooves (electric and upright) and dynamic spoken word.
Boasting a repertoire that runs the gamut from Living Colour to Coltrane, with plenty of original material in the mix, makes labeling Miles Long simply a jazz band quite difficult. Several major labels vied to sign the band, but Warner, who has established himself as stage, television, and film actor over the past 20 years instead opted to record and produce his CD as an independent artist. \"Because I\'m not looking toward this to make me rich and famous, I have the luxury to truly approach music as an artist. Since there is such a negative preconception of actors as recording artists, it was important that I have the creative freedom I needed, unencumbered by someone else\'s idea of what\'s good.\"
What is immediately apparent about \"the miles long mixtape\" is the passion and honesty from which Warner writes. From the controversial spoken word musings of \"Project Image,\" which scrutinizes the bastardization of the hip-hop culture, to \"LapDance,\" the lamenting of a love unrequited, Miles Long offers a refreshing perspective to today\'s music. The influences that range from Miles Davis to Stevie Wonder to Led Zeppelin to The Roots coupled with having grown up as part of the hip-hop generation, is what gives Miles Long its distinctive sound and what keeps them side-stepping any attempts at categorizing their music. Says Malcolm-Jamal Warner: \"\"Urban Jazz/funk has been the closest description, which is cool because we do approach you like jazz, but definitely hit you with the funk.\"