A 30-YEAR jazz veteran, Polish saxophonist Zbigniew Namyslowski has teamed up with a young group called The Q on his latest album, "Songs of Innocence." It's a fusion-oriented band, comprising members of Poland's young "power generation," and a fitting ensemble for Namyslowski's jaunty compositions.

As a band leader, Namyslowski is often compared to drummer Art Blakey -- a sort of father figure to his budding recruits. But as a musician and composer, Wayne Shorter's late-'70s work with Weather Report is more apt to come to mind, at least on this record. Like Shorter, Namyslowski plays a fluid yet pungent soprano sax (plus alto and flute), and he writes attractive melodies that are subtly embellished by synth figures and buttressed by drummer Jerry Gold. The rhythms aren't always as compelling as you'd like, especially on "Hungarian Mountain Girl," but the pieces are generally tuneful and, in the case of "Clambake," even exciting.

Although the best of Namyslowski's compositions tend to be multifaceted -- the mood-shifting "Indescribable," for instance -- he can also win you over with an uncomplicated flute lament such as "Not a Word" or the catchy and decidedly Weather Reportish "Cy Tu Blues, Cy Nie Blues?" ZBIGNIEW NAMYSLOWSKI & THE Q --

"Songs of Innocence" (East Wind USA {no catalogue number}). Appearing Saturday at d.c. space.