Samurai was a short-lived prog/hard rock band active in the late 1960s. Not to be confused with the band of the same name renamed from The Web, this band was started by rockabilly singer/actor Miki Curtis along with fellow Japanese and European musicians, creating a mix of hard rock, psych, prog and Japanese folk. In their time of activity they made two albums.
Samurai was led by vocalist/flautist Miki Curtis, who previously played rockabilly music. They went to Europe in late 1967, picking up some European members and thus becoming half-Japanese. In London they recorded a single and their debut album, the double-LP Samurai a.k.a. Miki Curtis & Samurai, as well as a single only released in Italy. They should not be confused with the UK group of the same name, who released a self-titled LP on Greenwich in 1971.
Their second album Green Tea (Released in 1970) was simply a single-LP repackaging of the debut only released in Japan, to where the band had returned. In 1971 the band released Kappa. The band played a varied kind of psychedelic progressive rock, occasionally a bit hard-rocking, with jazzy and exotic Asian touches and with a 22-minute closing jam. They’ve been compared by Vernon Joyson to Andwella’s Dream and early Traffic. Both albums were was reissued on CD by P-Vine. The bass player, Tetsu Yamauchi, was later in Friends, Free and The Faces, as well as pursuing a brief solo career. Drummer Yujin Harada was later in the last incarnation of Far East Family Band. Graham Smith, credited on harmonica on the first 2 albums, is probably the same person who later played violin in String Driven Thing and Van Der Graaf.
- Samurai (1970, Metronome)
- Green Tea (1977, Phillips; Re-packaging of the self-titled record)
- Kappa (1971, Phillips)
- Miki Curtis: Vocals, Flute
- Joe Dunnet: Guitar
- Yamauchi Tetsuo: Bass
- Harada Yuji: Drums
- John Redfern: Organ
- Hiro Izumi: Guitar, Koto
- Mike Walker: Vocals, Piano
- Graham Smith: Harmonica
- Prog Archives Page on the band
- Japrocksampler page
- Japrocksampler page on Miki Curtis
- Vintage Prog page