James Barnett’s letter [June 2] regarding WBEZ’s abandonment of music is so typical of people who have been musically dumbed down by the record industry, an industry that tells you what’s hip to buy but never dares seek your opinion. He seems to take pride in himself as musically eclectic but won’t take the time to really listen and try to understand America’s only true native art form–jazz. Why, Mr. Barnett, do you think jazz is boring? You give no explanation. And how on earth do you find it unlistenable? Like most musical genres, jazz takes on many forms and shapes–singers, duos, trios, quintets, big bands, solo piano, Latin-influenced, music loosely composed, music highly structured. Which of these formats is so offensive? Is it all of them? Or does this bountiful treasure give you too many choices and is just too hard to figure out? Is it because it may take time, patience, and depth to understand it?

James Barnett doesn’t need jazz, and jazz most certainly doesn’t need James Barnett and dilettantes like him who seek instant gratification while shopping in the McDonald’s-like “fast music” market.

Bill Benjamin