Chasing the Dragon’s first jazz release aimed high: As the album cover states, the album features an all-star quintet. The drummer, Gary Husband, has worked extensively with John McLaughlin; bassist Joe Sanders’ resume would fill the rest of this review; pianist Jason Rebello’s recent projects have included memorable recordings with saxophonist Tim Garland; bandleader Quentin Collins, who plays trumpet and flugelhorn, is one of the UK’s most in-demand players; and a talented percussionist, Miles Bould, rounds out the group. Knowing their mistakes will be etched into wax can hold musicians back on direct-cut recordings, but these veterans play with finesse and panache. Collins has a warm tone that’s perfectly suited for the poignant “Left Unsaid” and the dreamy “Oliliqui Valley.” I can understand why Andrew Quint, who attended this and another Chasing the Dragon recording session and described that experience in Issue 300, saved his highest praise for “Paxos/Antipaxos,” with its catchy melody, infectious groove, and inspired soloing. Well-recorded small-group jazz has a rich tradition, and A Day in the Life, which boasts realistic and detailed sound with plenty of air, adds another gem to that lineage.