More than the refreshing solos and exuberant interplay of the instrumentalists--and even more than the rangy palette of the arrangements--it's the finely realized audacity of their concept that sets Edward Wilkerson's 8 Bold Souls above so much other modern music. Like many of their colleagues in the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, such as the Art Ensemble of Chicago and the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, the Souls seem to telescope jazz history, connecting the music's African roots to the techniques and creative concerns of post-60s jazz. But by plugging into the sonic imagery of early Ellington, Wilkerson has not only added a new wrinkle; he has also framed the musical discussion in familiar and delightful terms. (Could this musical time traveling have something to do with Chicago in general, and in specific with the just-departed Sun Ra, who used somewhat different methods but also achieved a wedding of past and futuristic sounds?) The Souls have added a slew of new works to their repertoire since the fall of '91, when their lost album was recorded; they still count heavily on such individuated sounds as Mwata Bowden's clarinet, Aaron Dodd's tuba, and Naomi Millender's cello, which--along with Wilkerson's puissant tenor sax--direct and shape the compositions themselves. Tuesday, 8 PM, Club Regal, 1645 E. 79th St.; 721-9230.