Hearing live jazz in Kansas City from the mid- to the late 1980s often meant catching Ida McBeth's group. In the first couple of numbers before McBeth took the stage, the ensemble's young guitarist, Steve Cardenas, stood out with solos as likely to evoke the lyricism of Pat Metheny as the punch of McBeth's R&B. Cardenas has since moved to New York, where he has performed with such luminaries as Charlie Haden, Ben Allison and Paul Motian. The influence of Cardenas' KC roots is evident in his three albums and his own contemporary compositions. This weekend, Cardenas returns to town for two shows. He's backed by KC jazz masters Matt Otto on sax, Bob Bowman on bass and Ryan Lee on drums.