bands/musicians The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists  

561 votes 100 voters 17k views 101 items Follow Embed

Avant-garde jazz artists list, with photos, ranked best to worst by votes. List of good avant-garde jazz bands includes a filter so you can sort by the groups’s label and what albums they've put out. This list of the top avant-garde jazz bands in the world includes all musicians who have released recordings that have gotten distribution, and is an up-to-date list. Avant-garde jazz groups and artists are shown below along with any additional genres in which their music belongs. If available, you can also see information about where all avant-garde jazz bands on this list got started. These are truly the greatest avant-garde jazz bands of all time, since the most famous avant-garde jazz artists ever are listed, and the order is decided by actual fans of the best avant-garde jazz music.

You can click on the avant-garde jazz band names to see more information about that particular notable avant-garde jazz group. If they're near the top of the best avant-garde jazz artist list, though, then they should have at least some information available. All the top avant-garde jazz bands named on the list also have discographies on their pages if you click on the avant-garde jazz band names themselves.

List is made up of a variety of artists, including Medeski Martin & Wood and Elvin Jones. Downvote your least favorite artists and upvote the best ones. The best artists on this list are the ones with the most votes, so show things like Miles Davis and John Coltrane some love.

All important, significant and iconic names in avant-garde jazz music history deserve your votes, so make sure to choose wisely. You can only vote once on this list.

The list includes all new avant-garde jazz bands, and if there are any missing on the list, you can always add them yourself. Just make sure they aren't already on the list and check your spelling, because this is already an accurate compilation of the best examples of avant-garde jazz, as well as a good place to start if you're asking yourself, or friends, exactly how to get into avant-garde jazz music. Especially since the bands at the top of the list will at the very least be the best choices if you're looking for a list of good avant-garde jazz bands with which to start out. No point in listening to them if they aren't actually good or even half-way decent avant-garde jazz bands.

This list answers the questions "who are the best avant-garde jazz bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest avant-garde jazz musician ever?"

If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular avant-garde jazz bands that you might've heard of, but not really listened to closely enough to cast an informed vote.

Get your social circle's opnion by re-ranking this list, making it votable then sharing it on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and more. (101 items)

1
+ - 38 5
John Coltrane is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
John Coltrane Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop

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2
+ - 28 3
Charles Mingus is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Charles Mingus Orchestral jazz, Avant-garde jazz, Third stream

3
+ - 35 5
Miles Davis is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Miles Davis Jazz rap, Avant-garde jazz, Jazz-funk

4
+ - 19 2
Pharoah Sanders is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Pharoah Sanders Kozmigroov, Avant-garde jazz, World fusion music

5
+ - 22 3
Sun Ra is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Sun Ra Doo-wop, Kozmigroov, Avant-garde jazz

6
+ - 21 3
Albert Ayler is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Albert Ayler Avant-garde jazz, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

7
+ - 24 5
Ornette Coleman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Ornette Coleman Avant-garde jazz, Jazz fusion, Free funk

8
+ - 13 2
Cecil Taylor is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Cecil Taylor Avant-garde jazz, Jazz, Free jazz

9
+ - 14 3
Eric Dolphy is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Eric Dolphy Avant-garde jazz, Third stream, Post-bop

10
+ - 11 2
Wadada Leo Smith is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Wadada Leo Smith Avant-garde jazz, Free improvisation

11
+ - 9 1
Andrew Hill is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Andrew Hill Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Jazz

12
+ - 12 4
Alice Coltrane is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Alice Coltrane Kozmigroov, Avant-garde jazz, Jazz

13
+ - 9 2
Paul Bley is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Paul Bley Avant-garde jazz, Post-bop, Free jazz

14
+ - 7 1
Mal Waldron is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Mal Waldron Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop

15
+ - 5 0
Tim Berne is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Tim Berne Avant-garde jazz

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16
+ - 14 9
John Zorn is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
John Zorn Dark ambient, Noise rock, Klezmer

17
+ - 7 3
Rahsaan Roland Kirk is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Rahsaan Roland Kirk Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop

18
+ - 6 2
Sam Rivers is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Sam Rivers Avant-garde jazz, Jazz, Free jazz

19
+ - 6 2
David Murray is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
David Murray Avant-garde jazz, Post-bop, Free jazz

20
+ - 5 1
Henry Threadgill is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Henry Threadgill Avant-garde jazz, Jazz

21
+ - 5 1
Lennie Tristano is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Lennie Tristano Avant-garde jazz, Cool jazz, Post-bop

22
+ - 5 1
Kenny Wheeler is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Kenny Wheeler Avant-garde jazz, Post-bop, Free improvisation

23
+ - 4 0
Chick Corea is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Chick Corea Kozmigroov, Fusion, Avant-garde jazz

24
+ - 4 0
Chris Speed is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Chris Speed Avant-garde jazz, Folk jazz, Free jazz

25
+ - 4 0
Steve Reid is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Steve Reid Avant-garde jazz, Jazz, Free jazz

26
+ - 8 5
Keith Jarrett is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Keith Jarrett Avant-garde jazz, Classical music, Smooth jazz

27
+ - 6 3
Moondog is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Moondog Avant-garde jazz, Outsider music, Jazz

28
+ - 6 3
Matthew Shipp is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Matthew Shipp Avant-garde jazz, Post-bop, Free jazz

29
+ - 4 1
Steve Lacy is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Steve Lacy Avant-garde jazz, Jazz, Dixieland

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30
+ - 4 1
Pat Patrick is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Pat Patrick Avant-garde jazz, Swing music, Hard bop

31
+ - 3 0
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Jazz

32
+ - 3 0
Trevor Dunn is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Trevor Dunn Avant-progressive rock, Avant-garde jazz, Experimental rock

33
+ - 3 0
Ted Curson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Ted Curson Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Bebop

34
+ - 3 0
Reggie Workman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Reggie Workman Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Jazz

35
+ - 3 0
Woody Shaw is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Woody Shaw Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop

36
+ - 5 3
Jimmy Lyons is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Jimmy Lyons Avant-garde jazz, Jazz, Free jazz

37
+ - 5 3
Mark Dresser is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Mark Dresser Avant-garde jazz, Jazz, Free jazz

38
+ - 4 2
King Missile is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
King Missile Dark ambient, Anti-folk, Avant-garde jazz

39
+ - 4 2
John Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
John Gilmore Avant-garde jazz, Jazz

40
+ - 4 2
Mike Westbrook is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Mike Westbrook Avant-garde jazz

41
+ - 3 1
Elvin Jones is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Elvin Jones Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop

42
+ - 3 1
Derek Bailey is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Derek Bailey Avant-garde jazz, Free funk, Free jazz

43
+ - 3 1
Horace Parlan is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Horace Parlan Avant-garde jazz, Third stream, Post-bop

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44
+ - 3 1
Phil Minton is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Phil Minton Avant-garde jazz, Free improvisation

45
+ - 3 1
Julien Lourau is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Julien Lourau Avant-garde jazz, Electronic music

46
+ - 2 0
Terumasa Hino is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Terumasa Hino Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Jazz fusion

47
+ - 2 0
Roswell Rudd is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Roswell Rudd Avant-garde jazz, Jazz, Free jazz

48
+ - 2 0
Booker Little is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Booker Little Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Jazz

49
+ - 2 0
Mary Halvorson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Mary Halvorson Avant-garde jazz, Experimental music, Jazz

50
+ - 3 2
Mircea Florian is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Avant-garde Jazz Bands/Artists
Mircea Florian Psychedelic folk, New Wave, Avant-garde jazz