Jazz composer/pianist Sandy Owen has issued recordings as both a solo artist and as a member of Iliad. Owen became interested in piano when his older brother began taking lessons and before his tenth birthday, Owen was studying the instrument himself. By the age of 12, Owen had formed a surf group, the Five Keys, along with brothers Ted (drums) and Barry (saxophone). By 1965, Owen became interested in jazz music after hearing the Ramsey Lewis Trio's cover of "The In Crowd" and discovering pianist Les McCann. Jazz became his music of choice and while attending the University of California of Irvine during the early '70s, Owen formed the outfit Iliad with some local friends. Although locally popular, the group failed to land a recording contract with a major label, so the fledgling outfit decided to take matters into their own hands and issued recordings via their own label, Northern Lights Records (1975's Distances and 1978's Sapphire House). In the late '70s, Owen began working as a freelance computer consultant, but continued to write, perform, and teach music. Owen issued several albums throughout the '80s on his own Ivory Records label, including such titles as 1982's Soliloquy, 1984's Euphonia, Montage, and Carols, 1985's Themes in Search of a Movie, 1986's Boogie Woogie Rhythm and Blues, 1988's Heart Crossings, and 1989's Night Rhythms, the latter of which peaked at number five on the Gavin Report's adult alternative chart. Not a lot was heard from Owen for the first part of '90s, before eventually resurfacing in 1996 with Gioia, and five years later with One Late Hour With a Steinway.
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