Jay Bennett, R.I.P.
Jay Bennett, a multi-instrumentalist and producer, passed away in his sleep Saturday night, according to a statement from his management company. Bennett was perhaps best known for his time with Wilco, with whom he played from 1994 through 2001; he also played in the ’90s powerpop act Titanic Love Affair and had an extensive list of musical credits. Last year, he put out the solo album Whatever Happened I Apologize, which he distributed for free under a Creative Commons license, and there’s currently a project underway to collect funds from fans for a vinyl release of the album. After the cut, a few tracks from his wide-ranging body of work.Titanic Love Affair, “Planet Strange” (from Titanic Love Affair, 1991)Wilco, “A Shot In The Arm” (from Summerteeth, 1999)Wilco, “Pot Kettle Black” (from Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, 2002; Bennett provided “Wall of feedback, Electric guitars, Mellotrons, Synth, ‘B-Bender electric guitars,’ and Manual keyboard effects”)Jay Bennett, “I’ll Decorate My Love” (from Whatever Happened I Apologize, 2008) There’s also a 1999 Austin City Limits appearance by Wilco on YouTube. Earlier this month, Bennett made headlines when he sued former bandmate Jeff Tweedy for breach of contract stemming from unpaid royalties; in a post on his MySpace blog shortly before the news of the lawsuit came out, Bennett blogged about upcoming hip replacement surgery and his work on his long-in-the-works album Kicking at the Perfumed Air. Jay Bennett was 45.UPDATE: Jim DeRogatis at the Chicago Sun-Times has spoken to former Bennett collaborator Edward Burch: “Early this morning, Jay died in his sleep and an autopsy is being performed.”Jay Bennett [MySpace]Jay Walter Bennett [Undertow Music Collective]