Anton Fig


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Figments Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Released as an independent limited-edition record in 2002 but receiving a wider circulation in 2015, Figments is the first completed solo album by Anton Fig, a drummer best known as the anchor of Paul Shaffer's house band on The Late Show with David Letterman. In that gig, Fig made plenty of famous friends and a lot of them show up here: Brian Wilson, Richie Havens, Ace Frehley, Ivan Neville, Sebastian Bach, Al Kooper, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Chris Spedding, and Chip Taylor, not to mention his fellow Late Show crew of Shaffer, Will Lee, Felicia Collins, and Sid McGinnis. That cast suggests an omnivorous musical appetite and Figments also feels intimate, betraying its roots as a project Fig cut with his friends at his Manhattan apartment. Such a description might be slightly misleading, suggesting something homemade, when this is really top-notch studio musicians having fun in an appropriately clean and punchy setting. Often, the playing, the stylistic reach and the sound take precedent over the songs; none of the tunes are grabbers and some bear melodies so subtle, they don't register. Nevertheless, Figments is interesting as a snapshot of what pros do in their downtime: as it turns out, they like to have fun playing clean, pan-genre studio pop that showcases their chops without being flashy.

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