Brad Barker is JAZZ.FM91’s music director and hosts Afternoon Drive and First Listen.

When it was announced last week that the Kennedy Center will be recognizing Earth, Wind & Fire later this year, it was a reminder of the greatness of this band and its musicians. For 47 years, Philip Bailey has fronted that band (along with founder Maurice White, who passed in 2016) and has given the world one of the most distinctive falsetto voices in history.

The 68-year-old Bailey has also just released a very fine solo recording on Verve Records called Love Will Find a Way.

Born in Denver, Bailey’s ears were first opened to jazz by his parents’ record collection. He was especially drawn to drummers Philly Joe Jones and Art Blakey. Jazz was always a big part of the sound of Earth, Wind & Fire, Bailey has said.