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When writing recently about Seiji Ozawa’s very successful “New Year’s Concert 2002” album, I made a passing reference to his “nasally voiced” nephew, Kenji Ozawa.

Well, I take it all back. Kenji has just released one of the most interesting J-pop albums of the year so far. Titled “Eclectic,” it was recorded at New York’s famed Hit Factory with American studio musicians. Ozawa (who also produced the album) has gone for an understated, subtle approach which is full of deep grooves and beautiful melodies that steadily grow on you with repeated listenings. And his voice, which is well down in the mix, seems to have dropped a register or two. Very impressive.

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