Of the participants in the Knitting Factory's Loud Music Silent Film project, bassist Mark Dresser is, in strictly musical terms, perhaps the most exciting and developed. He has scored the silent German expressionist classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, directed by Robert Wiene, with exceptional skill, managing to capture an eerie, haunting feeling that's at once extremely contemporary and true to the film's 1919 production. Dresser's music also functions well without the film (the Knitting Factory has already released the CD version), drawing on his and his cohorts' abilities to combine crisp, definite, sometimes extreme textures and memorable melodic fragments. Dresser uses prepared piano--that's when the strings are either damped, scraped, plucked, or glissed from inside the lid. On the disc prepared-piano specialist Denman Maroney does the job, though in concert it will fall into the capable hands of Anthony Coleman. Dresser's other trump card is trumpeter Dave Douglas. The fastest-rising trumpet star in creative jazz, Douglas last performed in Chicago with John Zorn's Masada some years ago, so the chance to hear him should be enough to incite many listeners to go to this show. In the context of Dresser's sound track, Douglas capitalizes on his fantastic early-jazz abilities; he's plays uncanny muteless or muted horn mutations, wah-wahing with the best of N'awlins's growling pioneers. And Dresser, well known for his work as a member of Anthony Braxton's great quartet with pianist Marilyn Crispell and percussionist Gerry Hemingway, plays deep, explorative bass. The program also includes Witchcraft Through the Ages and Nosferatu, with music by Judith Ren-Lay and Liminal. Wednesday, 8 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield; 472-0449 or 559-1212.