As Bavu Blakes professed at D-Madness' farewell show in May, Washington, D.C.'s gain is Austin's loss. Fortunately, the local funk impresario/hip-hop mastermind left behind Equinox/Funk Fest, a double album of the one-man band's appropriately named "D-Funk." First disc Equinox holds as the collection's most complete side, jazz-laced hip-hop that slips seamlessly through fusion ("Feel Me?"), P-funk ("Why Don't People Understand"), and reggae ("True to Yourself"). Though for the bottom half's dexterity, Equinox remains loaded on the front end, "Precession" kicking off at double time before a suite of eternal reflections, which bring out the best of vocalist Yadira Brown on "Plenty," saxman Andrae Van Buren on "Take One," and Blakes on "The Fix." Less accessible but just as impressive, Funk Fest pits Madness with his bass guitar for a decathlon of "Salvation Funk." "Amazing Grace," absolutely.
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