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WORLD CLASS MUSIC

Start in St. Louis, which you might think an unlikely place for storming the jazz barricades unless you know that the great alto saxophonist Oliver Lake, above, met the late great soprano saxophonist Julius Hemphill there. If you make it a board game, move your Oliver Lake piece to Chicago, when that fabled revolutionary jazz organization AACM was formed. Then, via Paris, move Lake to New York City where he reunited with Hemphill to help form the World Saxophone Quartet, one of the most admired groups in the past two decades of jazz. Lake is, by any standards, one of the major figures in jazz of the most venturesome variety. In an extremely rare event, he will be part of an unusual world music trio Quagmire, featuring Jin Hi Kim, a virtuoso who plays a Korean fretted zither called a Komungo, and William Parker, one of the more well-traveled free jazz bassists. It's part of Blue 'n' Blue Theater and it takes place at 8 p.m. tonight in Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 2495 Main St., Suite 425. Tickets are $12 for members, students and seniors, $15 for all others. An evening of stunning improvisation and interplay from several musical corners is promised. For info, call 835-7362.

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