There are a lot of musicians that can be considered multi-stylists, meaning their music can be placed in a multitude of genre classifications. The styles they play might be closely linked like blues and blues-rock or broad like a jazz musician who puts out a reggae or metal album. Most often though, musicians won’t stray that far away from their home-base genre.
Session musicians however, are different in this aspect; they get asked to navigate a plethora of styles, feels, and settings and are expected to fit in wherever they are needed. One player who has been seen all over the map and in too many musical settings to count, is master drummer Anton Fig.
Fig was born in Cape Town, South Africa where he picked up a pair of drum sticks at the age of four. After gigging all around his hometown, he decided to move to Boston, Mass to “further pursue his musical interests.” After graduating from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1975, he moved to NYC where he would become one of the most in demand session drummers.
One of Anton Fig’s biggest claims to fame began in 1986 when he joined Paul Shaffer in David Letterman’s late-night band “The World’s Most Dangerous Band.” On top of being on one of the most-watched television programs, the band was also the house band for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, playing with some of the biggest names in music. Fig remained with Letterman for 29 years, until his final show in 2015.
Now, as I said before, Anton Fig is a very diverse drummer and has played on a heap of albums with musicians of every genre. From blues and rock to jazz and pop, Fig has done it all. Beginning in 1978, Fig hooked up with Ace Frehley, the lead guitarist of the vibrant glam rock band, Kiss and appeared on a few of his solo albums. He was also on Dynasty and Unmasked by Kiss in 1979 and 80.
Anton Fig can be heard playing with some very notable musicians like Bob Dylan (appearing on three albums), Billy Joel, Booker T. and The MG’s, Paul Butterfield, B.B. King, Gary Moore, Link Wray, and many more. He also has worked with the fusion-rocker Oz Noy on the majority of his albums and was the featured drummer on Eclectic, a duo album from blues master Eric Johnson and jazz fusion star, Mike Stern. One of his major endeavors began in 2007 when he appeared on Joe Bonamassa’s album Sloe Gin. Fig has remained as an integral member of Bonamassa’s band and overall sound ever since and can be seen at every live performance all over the world!