A year ago today, I blogged about the inimitable Jay Bennett's tragic death. Jay overdosed on prescription painkillers, dying in his sleep on May 24, 2009. For those who need a reminder, Jay Bennett was Jeff Tweedy's right-hand man during most of Wilco's glory run (1994-2001, culminating with his work on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot). Jay kept on with a solo career, releasing several albums throughout the last decade.
Here's the good news: One more is on the way. Kicking the Perfumed Air will be available for free download from The Jay Bennett Foundation, a music and education foundation set up by Jay's mother and brother. You can also buy a hard copy of the CD. If you snag the free version, I recommend donating a few bucks to the foundation in Jay's memory.
There are a few songs available over at Pitchfork, and I gotta say, they're comforting to hear. Jay wasn't really a master lyricist, but his sense of arrangement and production was second to none. The songs are cut from the same production cloth as those from Summerteeth and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Even the layperson could hear the similarities.
Call me a sentimental fool, but I still miss Jay everytime I hear he and Tweedy singing together on the verses of "She's a Jar":