The good news: powerhouse Puerto Rican saxist David Sanchez has a new album in the works. The better news: like his previous two recordings, this one promises to stretch into fertile new territory. On those earlier CDs Sanchez concentrated on his own compositions, each time emphasizing a different facet of the jazz/Latin duality that drives his music; this time he’ll record a set of Latin standards, written by great pop composers of his homeland (Pedro Flores) and of Brazil (Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joyce). Sanchez plans to set his pungent soprano and husky tenor among woodwinds and strings–which might raise a red flag if he hadn’t already proven his taste and musicality. In the crowd of impressive young saxophonists in jazz today, he stands out for more than his command of modern improvisatory techniques: he is completely at home in both hard-charging postbop and the energizing rhythmic crossfire of salsa and son, and can blend the two traditions like a musical Cuisinart. On last year’s Street Scenes (Columbia), he also tossed in rhythms from Bahia and New Orleans in a quest for full-hemisphere fusion, but with none of the antedated glibness that has marked so many similar attempts. As NAFTA and the Internet ensure continuing global shrinkage, this fusion has as good a chance as any, and better than most, to embody the future of jazz. The band also stars pianist Edsel Gomez, a standout in Sanchez’s last two Chicago appearances, and drummer Adam Cruz. Friday and Saturday, 9 and 11 PM, and Sunday, 4, 8, and 10 PM, Jazz Showcase, 59 W. Grand; 312-670-2473. NEIL TESSER

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Nick Cardillichio.