With influences ranging from medieval folk to Jacques Brel and Joan Baez, the albums have a lot to offer—good folky tracks with, at times, a Middle Eastern flavour. Other tracks, mostly on the second album, have a more west coast feeling. A bit of a gem!
With so much attention given to Iran’s female singers (Pari Zanganeh), it seemed natural to offer this disc, which contains two albums released in the UK in 1974. Shusha grew up in Iran, the daughter of a distinguished Shia theologian and Professor of Philosophy at University of Tehran. She was sent to Paris when she was only seventeen to study Oriental languages and philosophy; she also trained as an opera singer. In Paris she encountered artists, writers and poets such as Louis Aragon and Jean Paul Sartre. She was encouraged by Jacques Prévert to record albums of Persian folk songs, and subsequently chansons and old French songs. After marrying the writer and explorer Nicholas Guppy in 1961, she moved to London, where she became as fluent in English as she already was in Persian and French.
Her first British LP release, in 1971, was an album of traditional Persian music, previously released in France. By this time, influenced by the Folk Revival, she began writing and singing some of her own songs, as well as covering the works of contemporary songwriters (including Captain Beefheart!). It's no wonder then that these two records contain an intriguing mixture, ranging from traditional Persian songs to jazz rock. Stellar backing musicians on the albums, too: John 'Rabbit' Bundrick, John Kirkpatrick, and BJ Cole, and engineered by 'John The Wood'.