Bautista played on the 1972 Earth, Wind & Fire album Last Days and Time, but left the band soon after that album’s release. He later released two solo albums on ABC Records: Bautista was released in 1977 and The Heat Of The Wind was released in 1978. He also worked as a guitar player for the Ronnie Laws Band, The Crusaders, Jackson 5, Lamont Dozier, Ramsey Lewis, Randy Crawford, George Duke, Wayne Henderson and Hubert Laws.
He played the 12-string guitar as well as the electric guitar. He returned to EWF in 1981 replacing fellow rhythm guitarist Al McKay and performed on 1981’s Raise!, 1982’s Powerlight and 1983’s Electric Universe. He left the band in 1983 when the group went on a hiatus that eventually lasted for four years. On February 29, 2012, Roland Bautista died of natural causes.