Too adventurous to be considered mainstream and too accessible to warrant the "avant-garde" tag, bassist Mark Helias is not really a fashionable name in either camp. He is, however, a respected composer/bandleader who has been very steady since releasing his first LPs in the mid-1980s. His records have always featured interesting soloists -- among them like-minded inside/outside players such as Ellery Eskelin, Ray Anderson and Tim Berne -- but the emphasis is really on his writing. His winding, bar-line-crossing melodies have a trademark sleeper quality, creeping up after a few listens and lodging themselves in your head. Interesting, intelligent music not to be overlooked by the lack of hype surrounding it.