Even with a compositional style that retains the strain of pop melodicism he inherited in sessions with the likes of Marvin Gaye and the Stones, Ernie Watts remains a jazz classicist at heart. His work with Charlie Haden’s Quartet West in the ’80s cemented him as a saxophonist at the top of his field, equally adept at Coltrane-indebted bop technique and the subtle sensuality required for those lovelorn jazz ballads. He will be joined tonight by our own local treasure, pianist Marc Seales, for an evening of understated beauty and undeniable craftsmanship. (Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave, jazzalley.com, 7:30 pm, $24.50, all ages, June 3–4)