With two music giants to choose from, how could you go wrong?
By DAVID BRINN
There's probably not many music fans who own both Joe Jackson and Steve Vai albums. So there shouldn't be much of a conflict when deciding who to see on Tuesday night - the seminal new wave piano man Jackson or the hard rock guitar god Vai.
However, if you've got enough budget and diverse tastes to encompass both music legends, Jackson is also appearing the next night at the Shoni Fortress in Binyamina.
Jackson's two shows here last year are still discussed in reverence. The versatile singer/songwriter, best known for '70s and '80s hits like "Stepping Out" and "Is She Really Going Out With Him," appeared with his original rhythm section of Graham Maby on bass and Dave Houghton on drums to provide, according to all reports, a stunning career retrospective that was short on nostalgia and long on energy and inspiration.
The first time I saw The Joe Jackson Band in the early 1980s, it was almost like hearing a power trio led by piano instead of guitar. But if it's the real guitar power chord you're yearning for, consider applying for Vai's musical master class - Alien Guitar Secrets - at Heichal Hatarbut.
Axe slinger to everyone from Frank Zappa, David Lee Roth and Whitesnake, as well as long-time virtuoso solo artist, Vai will demonstrate with generous dollops of his own lightning-fast style to explain guitar technique and offers tips on unlocking a budding musician's own musical identity in the two-and-a-half hour workshop. He's also a funny, engaging guy who injects his stories with wit and charm.
While he's played with a who's who of artists of every style, Vai's never collaborated with Jackson. Wouldn't it be cool if he hustled over to Mann Auditorium after his class on Tuesday and joined Jackson for his encore? Maybe "Look Sharp" or "I'm the Man" - or how about a run through of the complete album that describes the two - Night and Day.
Joe Jackson plays Tel Aviv's Hangar 11 on June 30 at 9 p.m. and Binyamina's Shoni Fortress on July 2 at 9:30 p.m. For tickets call *8965. Steve Vai's masters class goes down at Tel Aviv's Heichal Hatarbut on June 30 at 7:30 p.m.; (03) 528-9163.
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