In Lifted, Javon Anderson examines the long-standing relationship between jazz and hip hop.

Samples in hip hop often have a hidden history. This phenomenon also applies to jazz bass virtuoso Jaco Pastorius, who is often credited with changing the instrument forever throughout his career as a solo musician and with Weather Report.

Before Jaco came onto the scene in the 1970s, the bass was often thought of as an instrument that could only hold down the low end and support both rhythmic and harmonic elements. In most instances that was certainly true, but Jaco was the kind of musician that broke those rules entirely and made his fretless electric bass sing like a lead instrument on his debut self-titled album in 1976. Besides everyone being blindsided by the way he adapted Charlie Parker’s Donna Lee, another recording tune that stood out was the highly experimental Portrait of Tracy, named after Pastorius’s first wife, Tracy Sexton.