Kurt Bestor and Sam Cardon have at least one answer to the question of how Americans can keep Olympic memories from flickering. Innovators II: Keepers of the Flame takes the same format as its 1992 predecessor: honest instrumental odes to men and women who have made a difference in the world. This second offering is as unique and unforgettable as Utah's opportunity to host a global stage. It represents a local tie to international greatness; it took musicians as talented as the athletes they embodied. Words that have typified the Olympic competition -- diversified, strong, spirited, reverenced, inspiring, phenomenally talented -- in likeness capture the mood of Innovators II. People who pick up the CD and read the liner notes will know whom Sam and Kurt are writing about and understand the musical symbolism. Jesse Owens defied Hitler's ideals by winning four gold medals in the 1936 Berlin Summer Games. Nadia Comaneci scored a perfect ten on the uneven bars in 1976. Mirsada Buric completed the 5000 meters in Barcelona less than two months after spending time in a concentration camp. These and other true heroes gave new life to their sports because the Olympics gave new life to the athletes. The spirit of the 2002 Winter Games is built on the hearts of men and women typified by the Owens, Comanecis, and Burics of the world, which we can now bring home to our living rooms and recall while listening to world-class music.
AllMusic Review by Jared Johnson