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Jaco Incorporated

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Pastorius had left behind a large body of work, some of it transcendent, some of it incomplete, a steady if modest stream of royalty income, and two sets of children from different eras.

Mary and John, his older children, receive more income than Felix and Julius for their father's work up to 1979. For works produced after that time, the children split proceeds equally. The four of them, with Jaco's brother Gregory, make up the five directors of Jaco Pastorius Inc., which manages Jaco's estate.

But it's Bobbing, holding no official position in JPI, who actually seems to be the man calling the shots.

Taking a very hands-on approach, Bobbing has fashioned himself the source of All Things Jaco. Certainly, no one can rival Bobbing in terms of acquiring artifacts (he reportedly even owns Jaco's high school diploma). And he has spent a couple of hundred thousand of his own dollars shoring up the image of the estate, he says, putting out reissues like the double-disc Portrait of Jaco in 2002 (with JPI's official blessing). Spanning 1968 to 1978, it offers hardcore and casual fans a view inside Jaco's most lucid period. Undoubtedly, it's a labor of love (a double disc that couldn't have been cheap to produce, Bobbing says it's sold fewer than 5,000 copies). "But without these things in the stores," he says, "Jaco's legacy is destined to fail."

On it, vintage recordings of Jaco's early years are interspersed with anecdotes from friends and family. Bobbing procured reminiscences from Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul from Weather Report, Metheny, and even the elusive Mitchell, with whom Jaco had a brief affair ("It was as if I dreamed him").

Ingrid, Julius, and Felix don't warrant a mention on Portrait of Jaco. There's nothing, for example, about the fact that Felix and Julius are becoming well-known local jazz musicians in their own right and play just about every week in the same neighborhoods where Jaco first started to make a name for himself.

Bobbing, in fact, has never made it down to Alligator Alley in Oakland Park to see the twins perform with Way of the Groove and can't understand how watching Felix and Julius would be informative to the man who gives the impression that he is curator for everything Jaco-related.

"Why would you want to waste your time with them?" Bobbing says. "[They're a] couple of knuckleheads."

Mary Pastorius has also been involved in music, leading a hard-edged modern-rock quartet, Queen Mary, until she recently started raising a family in Melbourne, Florida. Her brother, John, isn't involved in the music business. And for many years, Mary has taken the lead among her siblings in keeping her father's memory alive, writing remembrances and monitoring his estate as a director of JPI.

But the former figurehead of Queen Mary can also be a little, well, imperious.

Felix and Julius found that out recently when they encouraged Rutherford to pursue the park, as well as a concert to raise funds for it. Rutherford conceived of an annual Jaco-themed jazz festival that would fall on Jaco's birthday, December 1, and that would feature the twins as attractions. But when Mary got wind of it, she sent the twins an exasperated-sounding e-mail.

"WTF!" it began. "Just so there's no misunderstanding — The 'First Annual' Jaco Jazz & Music Fest is out of the question. If you guys want to have another 'Jaco tribute' concert to promote yourselves that's one thing, but when it comes to deciding something as big as when and where an annual festival is going to be — especially in South Florida — that's a decision for JPI (which consists of a 5 member board) — NOT your mother. Why do you let her continually drag you into such drama when things could simply be discussed?"

And if Mary was perturbed by the festival idea, it isn't really surprising that she assumed Ingrid Pastorius was really behind it, pulling the strings of Rutherford and the twins. In fact, that seems to be what Mary, John, and Bobbing assume about anything regarding Jaco that doesn't actually come from them.

Ingrid, if you listen to the three of them, is not a very nice person.

Well, actually, they pretty much think she's a blood-sucking harpy.

"Like a gypsy grifter, [Ingrid] wants to control [the twins'] lives," Bobbing says in a conversation that contains dozens of angry references to Ingrid. "They're her props. She's a nemesis to the family — a divorced wife with her own agenda."

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Jeff Stratton
Contact: Jeff Stratton