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Jaco Incorporated

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The feuding may have started years ago over archive recordings and how they should be released or marketed. Ingrid has long maintained that her boys aren't seeing enough money from their dad's earnings. They receive $550 a month, plus an annual lump sum that has varied from about $2,500 to $7,500. The estate also pays for their health insurance and for the use of cell phones.

When the twins turned 18, Bobbing invited former Warner Bros. executive (and longtime Jaco benefactor) Ricky Schultz to meet with the family. His idea was to license the back catalog and use his distribution connections to sell more records, maybe even posters and T-shirts. "There's a lot of ways to generate revenue from a quality catalog," he says. "They could have raised Jaco's profile and profited from it." Ingrid, Schultz recalls, told Julius and Felix to nix the idea.

"It's a sad situation where this quarreling and feuding has cost everybody. It's really a shame." A substantial amount of money — "a couple of hundred grand for each kid," Schultz maintains — remains unclaimed. And the more the record industry changes, he says, the more the family loses out.

If Ingrid spoiled a deal that might have paid off nicely, her kids still don't understand the vitriol from their older siblings. unclu

Julius, in his reply to Mary's e-mail, returned none of her venom. "How can we ever have a strong relationship and company if you keep saying these nasty things about my mother?" he wrote. "I am not looking forward to being there [at a JPI board meeting] because of how you always talk about my mom, and accuse Felix and I of using our father's name to promote ourselves, when we were asked to perform at the event in my dad's honor, without getting paid. I don't want to be at any meeting where I know we will be yelled at and wrongly accused, and degraded more... Bobbing constantly speaks bad to anyone he meets about my mother, Felix and I as if he is the corporation... When we ask for accounting we are asked why and why we don't trust you... How can we have a meeting when you continue to be so ugly to us, sometimes I feel like I want out of this whole situation."

Naturally, Bobbing tells New Times he believes Ingrid wrote the whole thing.

Bobbing and Mary also seethe when the issue of websites is brought up. JPI, largely through Bobbing, runs jacopastorius.com, a slick, reverent site that features extensive forums where fans come to discuss their icon. But a few years ago, Felix and Julius learned HTML and produced a Jaco tribute site as a class project, which Ingrid then decided to maintain and update. The site, jacop.net, promotes the Bobbing-produced Portrait of Jaco and contains no criticisms of JPI or Mary or John.

Still, Bobbing nearly bursts a blood vessel when he brings it up. "It's a publicity stunt," he says. "Ingrid is just using it to get traffic to her website," he adds, as if she were somehow profiting from the Jaco fans who find their way to it. (There are no ads on her site, and traffic alone could hardly make her money.) Bobbing also claims that a barrage of nasty posts on the official site has been traced back to Ingrid's computer.

"She's a virus!" John exclaims during a lunch at Mangos on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. Says Bobbing: "She's what has been keeping Jaco's legacy from flourishing!"

And although Ingrid very prominently includes a disclaimer that her Jaco site is not the "official" version and also not a product of JPI, that's still not good enough for Mary.

"The issue is that she's portraying herself as an official entity," she tells New Times. "It's sad. It's embarrassing. Especially when we're trying to raise my father's image and keep his legacy up."

Bobbing has, in other ways, shown that he resents any Internet tribute other than the official jacopastorius.com. Recently, a Puerto Rican man named Angel Vicen contacted jacopastorius.com after he put up his own, very amateur-looking website so that he could share with the world the five days he spent with Pastorius back in 1984.

Vicen, learning that Pastorius would be giving a bass seminar on the Caribbean island of Martinique that year, enrolled in the class and not only took photographs but also obtained Pastorius' permission to audiotape the sessions. On Vicen's modest website, jpbasslessons.com, he shares with readers what it was like to learn from the (then-fading) superstar, and he made MP3s of the recordings downloadable.

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Jeff Stratton
Contact: Jeff Stratton