The trio of saxophonist Wagner, bassist Ozaki, and world-renowned drummer Hamid Drake had played the previous night at the Blue Nile to celebrate the release of their new CD on Valid Records, delivering two varied sets of selections from the album and nicely loose renditions of other pieces from the Wagner book. Anticipation was running high for the follow-up gig, in which the trio would be joined by elder statesman Kidd Jordan, a man known for burning up bandstands from here to Berlin. How would these two saxophonists of contrasting musical temperaments, both of whom have played with Drake, find common ground to make an evening of cohesive music? Since 1994, Jordan has favored totally improvised settings without written pieces. Wagner’s preferred M.O. is for structured sets of his own compositions, which offer plenty of space for improvisation but do follow pre-set forms. Drake is such a deep drummer that he is at home in both settings, and on this evening he and Ozaki meshed beautifully as a rhythm section, providing the right balance of tight swing and surging energy for Wagner and Jordan to meet on sure footing and hit their respective strengths. Additionally, Jordan and Wagner exhibited mutual respect for each other’s approaches, with Jordan taking a stunning series of choruses on one of Wagner’s more melodic tunes and Wagner employing high soprano cries to join Jordan up in the stratosphere on one of the night’s free pieces. Drake was heard to particularly strong effect in the Dragon’s Den’s woody acoustics, drumming so ferociously that at times all three of his bandmates were beaming smiles and shaking their heads in disbelief. As if that wasn’t enough, the second set found trombonist Jeff Albert in place of Jordan for some rollicking free-calypso.