Harmonica great Howard Levy speaks softly in Acoustic Express

Eric Schneider and Pat Mallinger: The 59th annual "August is Charlie Parker Month" festivities at the Jazz Showcase, where Parker reigns as supreme deity, launches with the rare pairing of two of Chicago's most formidable saxophonists: Schneider and Mallinger. Expect a high degree of competitive heat, as well as collegial affection between two masters. They'll be joined by three stalwart Chicago musicians: pianist Stu Katz, bassist Marlene Rosenberg and drummer Robert Shy. 8 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4, 8 and 10 p.m. Sunday; at the Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Ct.; $20-$35; 312-360-0234 or jazzshowcase.com

Rob Mazurek: The intrepid Chicago experimenter, who now commands a wide following, leads his Pulsar Quartet. When this band celebrated the release of its "Stellar Pulsations" album earlier this year at the Green Mill Jazz Club, listeners heard Mazurek's delicate lyricism on cornet set against a whirr of ensemble sound. The four musicians collaborate with instinctive empathy, Mazurek joined by pianist Angela Sanchez, bassist Matthew Lux and drummer John Herndon. 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Constellation, 3111 N. Western Ave.; $10; constellation-chicago.com

Paul Marinaro: A Chicago singer rapidly on the rise, Marinaro until a few weeks ago hadn't played the Green Mill Jazz Club in the entire decade he has been based here. Since the recent release of his breakthrough album, "Without a Song," he practically has become a regular at the Mill, this time filling in for Chris Foreman's early show on Friday (while Foreman tours the country with the Deep Blue Organ Trio, opening nationally for Steely Dan). 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Green Mill Jazz Club, 4802 N. Broadway; free; 773-878-5552 or greenmilljazz.com

Christopher McBride: An increasingly busy figure in Chicago jazz, alto saxophonist McBride has acquitted himself well in mainstream and more adventurous idioms, turning in some of his most striking work alongside trumpeter Marquis Hill, leading his own quartet and in his recording "Quatuor de Force." 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Andy's Jazz Club, 11 E. Hubbard St.; $15; 312-642-6805 or andysjazzclub.com

Chicago Jazz Orchestra: Jeff Lindberg's mighty ensemble holds down the early shows Monday nights at Andy's this summer, the room barely large enough to contain the CJO's energy. They'll be joined by vocalist Frieda Lee, a singer with enough voice to hold her own alongside all of this sound. 5:15 and 7 p.m. Monday at Andy's Jazz Club, 11 E. Hubbard St.; $15; 312-642-6805 or andysjazzclub.com

To read more from Howard Reich on jazz, go to chicagotribune.com/reich.

hreich@tribune.com

Twitter @howardreich

Howard Levy's Acoustic Express

When: 9 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Green Mill Jazz Club, 4802 N. Broadway

Tickets: $12; 773-878-5552 or greenmilljazz.com

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