So here’s the scoop: Chicago’s own Brad Wheeler, who is on his way to becoming a genuinely original saxophonist, enters his quartet in the Ninth International Jazz Contest of Belgium, which sifts through 38 other entries (from 17 countries) and selects our boys to be among the ten finalists. Here’s the rub: they have to pay their own way to Belgium for the last round of competition next weekend. They leave on the 11th; the night before, this Thursday, they’ll play an early-evening fund-raising concert for the trip. If you’re not moved by sympathy, go just to hear Wheeler, who has spent the last few years building a thoughtful, attractively complicated musical persona. Wheeler is one of those musicians who works hard to make every note count, and the resultant lack of triviality is like an autumn morning’s much-appreciated slap in the face. If you are moved by sympathy, donate what you can; the boys need three grand just for airfare. Thursday, 6 PM, Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway; 878-5552.