It isn't just that pianist Matthew Shipp is one of the most fascinating performers in contemporary jazz, one of those inside/outside players who can play percussive piano splatter as well as post-bebop, Cowell-and-Cageian inside piano reaches and lyric rhapsodizing, all on the same evening. He also has an intimate history with the Hallwalls avant-garde jazz series under its programmer Steve Baczkowski.
In 2001, Shipp publicly "inaugurated Hallwalls newly acquired 1924 Steinway 5 M grand piano," said Baczkowski, in a duo performance with saxophonist Rob Brown. Then in 2006, Shipp "was the first pianist to perform on the same instrument at Hallwalls' then-new (and current) performance space. Both of these extraordinary concerts are among the most memorable in Hallwalls concert history," according to Baczkowski.
Promising just as much is Shipp's trio performance at 8 p.m. Sunday in Hallwalls with bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Whit Dickey -- one of the major events in one of Buffalo's finest jazz series.
-- Jeff Simon