Taking Chances: Live at the Dakota finds journeyman trumpeter Terell Stafford leading his quintet through a performance at the Dakota Bar & Grill in Minneapolis, MN in June of 2005. A fiery improvisor with formidable trumpet technique and an ear for knotty, post-bop lines Stafford has graced the albums of countless other artists and it’s always a pleasure to hear him get a chance to stretch-out on his own. Joining him here is a stellar ensemble including saxophonist Tim Warfield, pianist Bruce Barth, bassist Derrick Hodge, and drummer Dana Hall. From the frenetic and foot stomping lead-off of Stafford original "A Nick Off the Mark" to the unexpectedly plaintive and bluesy take on the traditional lullaby "Jesus Loves Me" and the similarly engaging ballad "Old Folks," Taking Chances is a superb entry into Stafford’s discography. This is urbane, cerebral, and soulful modern jazz.