Monday, May 25, 2009

Jay Bennett 1963-2009

Jay Bennett, best known for his work with Wilco, has died at the age of 45. While mostly known for his influencing Wilco's sound on albums like Summerteeth and the classic Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. During the tumultuous recording of YHF, Bennett was fired from the band. All of this was featured on the documentary, I am trying to Break Your Heart. Bennett also recorded music with the group Titanic Love Affair in the early 90s.

On personal note, I will have to thank Bennett for transforming my taste in music. While I got into Wilco thanks to A Ghost is Born, it was Yankee Hotel Foxtrot that sealed the deal with me as a music lover. It was a beautiful album filled with wonderful textures, guitar work and melodies. Despite the bickering by Tweedy and Bennett, Bennett's contribution were so significant to the band's work that you cannot deny that he was important in Wilco's evolution as a band.

While Bennett may have fallen of my radar after a while listening to that album fervently (and London Calling), Bennett will still hold a place in my musical heart. Bennett was also one of my favorite guitarist for his incredibly original style of randomly assorted, yet structured and intricate guitar work. Jay Bennett's death is truly a great tragedy in the musical world.

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