Sparkling Jazz in the Gloaming-New York Times Article; 7/27/12 by Phillip Lutz
Like Mr. Valera, the pianist David Janeway, who will appear with the Hastings Jazz Collective on Aug. 9, is exploring issues of musical identity. Unlike Mr. Valera, however, Dr. Janeway is aided in his exploration by professional pursuits outside the realm of music. He is a practicing psychiatrist, one who has pondered the parallels between jazz performance and psychiatric practice — both, he said, demand “deep listening” and can yield an “exchange of ideas” — and come to some conclusions about how his musical and medical lives can inform each other.In structuring the group as a collective, the band has rejected the leader-and-sidemen model for one in which all its members — the guitarist Jay Azzolina, the bassist Harvie S, the drummer Ron Vincent and the saxophonist Tim Armacost, who will be replaced at Lyndhurst by Billy Drewes — take risks and derive rewards in equal measure. While the effort requires a good deal of ego suppression, the result — “Shadows,” a polyrhythmic exercise in collective improvisation, is an example that will be heard at Lyndhurst — is the kind of interplay on the bandstand that, metaphorically speaking, suggests a lively but leaderless group counseling session.
David Janeway/Hastings Jazz Collective: Shadow Dances Review:
by Dan McClenaghan/All About Jazz/5/21/19
Sail twenty miles up the Hudson River from New York City and you find Hastings-On-The-Hudson, a vibrant artists' colony situated on the river's shore. Among the town's artists you'll find jazz pianist David Janeway, a New York City transplant via Detroit, Michigan. The Hastings Jazz Collective is Janeway's brainchild. He presents the all-star group's debut with Shadow Dances. Though he claims the title "musical director" of this contemporary mainstream jazz quintet, he also stresses the "leaderless aspect" of the group's approach—on this eight-track album, three parts jazz cover band, five parts composers' workshop for himself and his bandmates.
"Blackbird," from the Beatles songbook, get its fair share of covers (drummer Tony Williams and pianist Brad Mehldau, among many others). The tune serves as the opener for Shadow Dances. This take is on the darker, more mysterious side, opening with Janeway's gorgeous, pensive piano intro. Saxophonist Tim Armacost plays the melody in straightforward fashion, with his characteristically bold, burnished tone. Earl Zinder's "How My Heart Sings," inspired in part perhaps by pianist Bill Evans' 1962 take on the tune, is a gregarious, energetic, reaching-for-the-stars rendition, with a sinuous guitar solo by Jay Azzolina. Wayne Shorter's "Edda" showcases—among other sounds—a high octane piano solo by Janeway, and, as always, a clean and seamless group dynamic.
Covers aside, the album offers up one composition per band member, as per the composers' collective mandate: drummer Ron Vincent's "Question Mark" with its hot groove momentum; bassist Harvie S's shape-shifting "Courage," guitarist Azzolina's sizzling, then ebb and flow "MEG," saxophonist Armacost's soulful funk-fest, "Blueslike," and the title tune from David Janeway's pen, an engaging composition in the finest tradition of the modern jazz genre.