Chihiro Yamanaka is big in Japan — of course, it helps that the pianist was born and grew up there. Now, she's based in New York City and making strides in the stateside jazz world. Her 2012 album Reminiscence features two trios: one is her working band, while the other features special guests Larry Grenadier (bass) and session artist Bernard "Pretty" Purdie (drums). An imaginative virtuoso on the piano bench, she's enjoyed a recent itinerary which has seen her play in many of the East Coast's most prominent jazz clubs and concert halls.
The Chihiro Yamanaka Trio visits its leader's alma mater, Berklee College of Music, for this installment of The Checkout: Live concert series. In a live radio broadcast on WBGO — and a live online video webcast at NPR Music — the band performed live at Berklee's Cafe 939. For the full concert archive of this series, visit npr.org/checkoutlive.
- "Living Without Friday" (Yamanaka)
- "Take Five"/"In Your Own Sweet Way" (Desmond/Brubeck)
- "When You Wish Upon A Star" (Harline/Washington)
- "Liebesleid" (Kreisler) [video highlight]
- "2:30 Rag" (Yamanaka)
- "Yagibushi" (Traditional)
- Chihiro Yamanaka, piano
- Yoshi Waki, bass
- Ferenc Nemeth, drums
Producer and Host: Josh Jackson; Audio Engineer: David Tallacksen. Recorded Oct. 18, 2012 at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass. Photo courtesy of Michael Borgida/Berklee College of Music.