It still takes effort to make something unique and engaging. Any of us could go on our instruments and crap out a song 10 minute tops, but it will must definitely suck. The effort needs to be there, or else the lack there of will show in the music.
Now I play the saxophone myself and I do not agree with this statement that your friend made at all. Yes there are styles of music that aren't involved as a full orchestra, but you still need to give the time and effort to develop your work no matter what.
Good art needs time, no matter how simplistic.