Smooth jazz keyboardist Dan Siegel has been helping to shape the genre since his recording debut in 1980. Born in Seattle and raised in Eugene, OR, Siegel started taking piano lessons at age eight and was fronting a rock band at 12. After attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston, he received a degree in composition from the University of Oregon and began recording his own works. Soon thereafter, well-known independent jazz label Inner City Records signed the young keyboardist, releasing 1980's Nite Ride, which featured guitarist Lee Ritenour. Siegel's second album for Inner City, 1981's The Hot Spot, was more successful and spent ten weeks in the Top Ten of Billboard's jazz chart. In 1983, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue film and television work, as well as a more active recording career.
Spending half of the decade composing TV and film scores as well as releasing several albums of varying interest, he signed with Epic in 1986 and began moving away from the ailing jazz fusion scene and into the adult contemporary jazz sound that he had been toying with all along. Highlights of this era include 1994's worldbeat-influenced Hemispheres and the urban-flavored Clairvoyance, released in 1998. Siegel spent the 1990s recording for a variety of labels, working with some of the bigger names in smooth jazz (Boney James, Larry Carlton, John Patitucci), and leading the hard bop combo Birds of a Feather. In 2000, Legacy Recordings released a greatest hits compilation called Along the Way: The Best of Dan Siegel. ~ Zac Johnson