A restless innovator, drummer Paul Wertico has heretofore spent his spare time playing sideman in a dizzying array of different bands; these days, he works with a similar fervor at constructing his own groups. (When not anchoring the Pat Metheny Group, Wertico also leads a quintet featuring trumpet and tenor, as well as the two-bass, two-drums carnival called Strapagander.) Wertico's goal is to find the perfect amalgam of his bebop roots and his fusion/free-jazz percussive energy. Is this it? It certainly has a lot of the right connections, starting with Wertico's favorite rhythm section, pianist Laurence Hobgood and bassist Eric Hochberg (who along with Wertico constitute the Trio New). The front line comprises guitarist John Moulder-whose recent CD was coproduced by Wertico--and woodwinds wizard Richie Carpolongo, who worked with the drummer a dozen years ago in a cooperative free-jazz venture called Spontaneous Composition. This particular lineup has not yet performed in public; assembled specifically for this gig, it draws its repertoire from Wertico's eclectic debut CD, The Yin and the Yout (Intuition), which ranges from Peruvian folk songs to African-influenced jazz tunes and some particularly effective retro-fusion. Friday and Saturday, Jazz Buffet, 2556 W. Diversey; 862-0055.