And only last year, everything seemed so sure

La Cieca passes on the news that Jerry Hadley has been taken off life support following his suicide attempt last week, so now it’s just a matter of time. I have nothing intelligent to say about this sad, sad story, but I do believe that deaths should be opportunities to celebrate lives—so I’d just like to mention two Hadley albums that have given me much joy over the years. His duet album with Thomas Hampson has long held honored status in various official Soho the Dog automobiles; their rendition of “Venti scudi” from Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore never fails to have me laughing out loud. Also hunt around for Hadley’s apparently-out-of-print 1994 Broadway album In the Real World, which might just be the only “crossover” album I’ve ever liked; a collection of distinctly moody songs sung with direct emotion rather than surface stylisms. It was the record that introduced me to the hilarious Kander and Ebb song “I Don’t Remember Christmas,” and Hadley’s delicately melancholic version of Irving Berlin’s “What’ll I Do” as well as his full-out operatic rendition of Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life” are singularly memorable. Condolences to all his family and friends.

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