Over the weekend, the world lost a couple of phenomenal musicians, but it’s the loss of Jay Bennett on Saturday that really hit home with me. Bennett had a long career in music, but it was his tenure with Wilco during the “Summerteeth” and “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” years where his impact and talent were on beautiful display. It was Bennett’s influence that layered “Summerteeth” with strata upon strata of instrumentation and depth, taking Jeff Tweedy’s sparse odes of bleakness to dizzying heights, making the album a non-stop joy to listen to. He was very much Wilco’s personal Garth Hudson, and while his solo output never matched what he did with Wilco, he was a valuable and sought after session player who did his best work in the service of someone else’s song.
G’night, Jay. You and your work will be sorely missed.