Six degrees of James Brown (find the connection between artists)

One question I’d love Roon to help me answer is, “how are these artists related?” Roon already provides a lot of information with similar to / followed by / influenced by artists, but sometimes the connection isn’t quite so direct.

For example, a lot of Chicago’s funkier stuff reminds me of Kool & The Gang. What’s the connection between them? Well Roon shows me that they’re both influenced by Sly & the Family Stone.

That’s something I have to figure out by looking at both lists and comparing them… but there are so many other ways they could be related:

  • did they ever collaborate?
  • did anyone ever play for both bands?
  • did anyone ever produce an album for both bands?

and of course that’s only the direct connection. There could be more remote links as well:

  • did producers for these bands ever collaborate on projects for other bands?
  • did someone from Chicago ever play with someone who played with someone from Kool & the Gang?

I would love for Roon to show me artists’ / composers’ / producers’ etc “musical network” – either just to explore, or to discover how specific artists are connected to each other.


I don’t think the link is between Chicago and Kool and the Gang. The link is between (Chicago and Kool and the Gang) and the Big Band music of the 40’s with their huge brass sections (Glen Miller anyone?).

The huge cultural changes of the 60’s is reflected in the way in which brass music of the 40’s was evolved quite separately by white and black musicians. I’m not sure these interpretive subtitles can be captured by fairly random database links. I think roon needs better interpretive feeds from media journalism.

I think that is a really cool idea.

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Perhaps, but that’s not really the point :slight_smile:

I’m not writing a dissertation or using Roon as an Oracle of Musicology. I’m exploring the world of music!

I can already find a connection between the bands by way of a shared influence. Why not see what other links might be there?

Roon already has the network structure in place, and a means of exploring it. This is just another way of looking at it. Instead of starting from a node and going outward, you can start with two nodes see what different ways there are of connecting them.

Each band has been around for 50+ years and had 25+ members. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of those guys showed up on other records together. But if not, that’s cool too :slight_smile:

I understand what you are saying. It would be a nice feature. More difficult than it looks to implement though I would imagine.

I think the link you are looking for is Eumir Deodato. He was the horn arranger on the early big hits of Earth, Wind and Fire and did the same as producer/arranger for Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration” album. He might have some composer credits as well.

An amazing CV which makes him one of the key “brokers” fusing all sorts of musical genres from that period.

Earth, Wind & Fire also came out of Chicago, although they ended up in LA. Both Chicago and EWF were signed to CBS by Clive Davis. I don’t know if you’ve seen this but their parallel influences ran so deep there was a wildly acclaimed collaboration tour between Chicago and EWF in 2008. You can really hear the house “Deodato” sound shinning through. Probably the closest you will get to a collaboration between Chicago and Kool and the Gang.

There was an album but I don’t have a Tidal subscription so I don’t know if you can find it there.