Hugh Laurie has released his second album, Didn’t It Rain: another disc of New Orleans jazz and blues, a genre that he loves and proves to be a surprisingly fluent performer in. It’s been almost two years since I wrote a profile of Laurie for The New York Times Magazine (and almost seven years since I interviewed him for Rolling Stone and he advanced the opinion, mildly controversial then and a well-worn verity now, that TV in the modern era was operating at a higher level than movies). Three incidental but memorable experiences from reporting the Laurie article for the Times: (1) On my way to Heathrow, done with my London reporting, I took a car in the opposite direction so I could return to the Natural History Museum and tape the elevator message, on a hunch that I might need it (read the opening paragraphs of the article if that doesn’t make sense). When the Times factchecker flagged that passage as something that would need double-checking, I just cackled with delight. (2) I got to trade emails with both Laurie and Stephen Fry, who are pretty much the world’s most charming correspondents. (3) I saw Laurie perform at a small LA club, joined for the encores by Tom Jones, who decided on the spot to teach the band some Jerry Lee Lewis songs.