Sadly, the wondrous Roches have been dormant as a trio since their father died in 1977. But Suzzy and Maggie Roche, at least, reunite on this album.
Sadly, the wondrous Roches have been dormant as a trio since their father died in 1977. But Suzzy and Maggie Roche, at least, reunite on this album. An intense collection of prayers set to music, Zero Church (titled after the address of the Roches' rehearsal space in Cambridge, Mass.) is the result of the sisters' life-changing participation in a seminar at Harvard University's Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue founded by playwright/author/ actress Anna Deavere Smith. A cappella lead track "Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray," featuring Sweet Honey in the Rock's Dr. Ysaye Barnwell, suitably sets the tone with a traditional spiritual. Shaker hymn "This Gospel How Precious," another a cappella gem, is simply Suzzy and Maggie, while "Each of Us Has a Name," from a Hebrew prayer, brings in third sister Terre (and brother Dave) in a veritable, and hopefully portentous, Roches reunion. And while past Roches' kind-hearted playfulness is approximated on "Anyway," the lovely, heartbreaking "New York City" offers a moving Sept. 11 memorial.—JB