bands/musicians The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time  

8.5k votes 1.4k voters 172k views 102 items Follow Embed

List Rules Vote up the best jazz guitarists in history

When jazz took the stage it forever changed the world of music. Jazz is infused into almost all genres of music, even subtly. Mastering any kind of guitar is hard enough, but mastering jazz guitar takes even more skill. Who are the greatest jazz guitarists of all time? 
 
The talented musicians on this list are known for being the all time greatest when it comes to jazz guitar. This includes musicians who are both living and dead. Many of these musicians also branched out into other genres of music, including rock and country.
 
This list features the all time greatest jazz guitarists, ranked by the community's votes, and includes Wes Montgomery, Django Reinhardt, and Joe Pass. Vote up the best jazz guitarists in history below, or add someone you think is great if he or she isn't already on the list.

1
+ - 330 59
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Joe Pass Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

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2
+ - 321 75
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Django Reinhardt Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz

3
+ - 389 136
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Wes Montgomery Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

4
+ - 171 41
Barney Kessel is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Barney Kessel Pop music, Cool jazz, Rock music

5
+ - 101 31
Herb Ellis is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Herb Ellis Cool jazz, Swing music, West Coast jazz

6
+ - 165 70
Les Paul is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Les Paul Pop music, Rock music, Rock and roll

7
+ - 141 56
Charlie Christian is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Charlie Christian Swing music, Big band, Jazz

8
+ - 257 126
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
George Benson Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

9
+ - 142 58
Jim Hall is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jim Hall Cool jazz, Post-bop, Jazz

10
+ - 173 77
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Kenny Burrell Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

11
+ - 161 72
Grant Green is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Grant Green Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz

12
+ - 257 132
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Metheny Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

13
+ - 122 53
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Martino Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

14
+ - 179 91
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John McLaughlin Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

15
+ - 117 54
John Scofield is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John Scofield Nu jazz, Jazz-funk, Acid jazz

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16
+ - 141 76
Al Di Meola is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Al Di Meola Chicano rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

17
+ - 77 32
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Larry Coryell Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

18
+ - 79 34
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Tal Farlow Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

19
+ - 99 49
Allan Holdsworth is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Allan Holdsworth Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

20
+ - 125 68
Chet Atkins is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Chet Atkins Folk music, Jazz, Country

21
+ - 43 11
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

22
+ - 60 25
Paco de Lucía is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Paco de Lucía Flamenco, World music, Classical music

23
+ - 93 50
Larry Carlton is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Larry Carlton Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

24
+ - 71 35
Stanley Jordan is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Stanley Jordan Jazz fusion, Jazz

25
+ - 51 20
Charlie Byrd is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Charlie Byrd Swing music, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz

26
+ - 62 30
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Johnny Smith Cool jazz

27
+ - 79 46
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jeff Beck Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

28
+ - 41 16
Bucky Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Bucky Pizzarelli Swing music, Big band, Jazz

29
+ - 100 64
Lee Ritenour is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lee Ritenour Jazz-funk, Pop music, Sophisti-pop

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30
+ - 70 40
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Bill Frisell Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

31
+ - 53 27
John Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John Abercrombie Avant-garde jazz, Cool jazz, Hard bop

32
+ - 40 17
Eddie Lang is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Eddie Lang Jazz

33
+ - 100 66
Carlos Santana is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Carlos Santana Blues-rock, Chicano rock, Pop music

34
+ - 59 34
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

35
+ - 51 28
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lenny Breau Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

36
+ - 55 34
Mike Stern is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Mike Stern Rock music, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

37
+ - 42 24
Biréli Lagrène is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Biréli Lagrène Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion

38
+ - 37 20
John Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John Pizzarelli Swing music, Jazz

39
+ - 38 21
George Van Eps is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

40
+ - 18 4
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

41
+ - 50 35
Robben Ford is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Robben Ford Rock music, Jazz fusion, Jazz

42
+ - 40 27
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Gábor Szabó Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

43
+ - 33 21
Lonnie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lonnie Johnson St. Louis blues, Jazz blues, Piedmont blues

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44
+ - 33 23
Sonny Sharrock is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

45
+ - 25 16
Eric Gale is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Eric Gale Pop music, Jazz

46
+ - 31 22
Martin Taylor is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

47
+ - 25 17
Jimmy Raney is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jimmy Raney Cool jazz, Hard bop

48
+ - 26 18
Ralph Towner is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Ralph Towner Ethno jazz, Third stream, Folk music

49
+ - 27 19
Jimmy Bruno is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

50
+ - 13 6
Laurindo Almeida is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Laurindo Almeida Jazz, Bossa nova