bands/musicians The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time  

9.7k votes 1.6k voters 185k views 121 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.
list ordered by

1
+ - 400 88
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
+ - 226 55
Barney Kessel is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Barney Kessel Pop music, Cool jazz, Rock music

3
+ - 358 118
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Django Reinhardt Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz

4
+ - 449 163
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Wes Montgomery Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

5
+ - 200 94
Les Paul is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Les Paul Pop music, Rock music, Rock and roll

6
+ - 172 77
Jim Hall is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jim Hall Cool jazz, Post-bop, Jazz

7
+ - 126 49
Herb Ellis is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Herb Ellis Cool jazz, Swing music, West Coast jazz

8
+ - 300 156
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
+ - 180 83
Grant Green is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Grant Green Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz

10
+ - 290 151
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Metheny Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

11
+ - 158 70
Charlie Christian is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Charlie Christian Swing music, Big band, Jazz

12
+ - 188 89
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Kenny Burrell Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

13
+ - 136 57
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
+ - 195 97
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
+ - 132 61
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
+ - 111 52
Allan Holdsworth is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Allan Holdsworth Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

17
+ - 89 37
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Tal Farlow Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

18
+ - 156 83
Al Di Meola is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Al Di Meola Chicano rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

19
+ - 84 36
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Larry Coryell Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

20
+ - 51 14
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

21
+ - 106 54
Larry Carlton is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Larry Carlton Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

22
+ - 130 74
Chet Atkins is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Chet Atkins Folk music, Jazz, Country

23
+ - 82 39
Stanley Jordan is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Stanley Jordan Jazz fusion, Jazz

24
+ - 56 22
Charlie Byrd is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Charlie Byrd Swing music, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz

25
+ - 73 35
Paco de Lucía is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Paco de Lucía Flamenco, World music, Classical music

26
+ - 70 34
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Johnny Smith Cool jazz

27
+ - 60 29
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Gábor Szabó Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

28
+ - 112 70
Lee Ritenour is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lee Ritenour Jazz-funk, Pop music, Sophisti-pop

29
+ - 59 29
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lenny Breau Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

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30
+ - 78 45
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Bill Frisell Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

31
+ - 59 30
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
+ - 42 19
Eddie Lang is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Eddie Lang Jazz

33
+ - 48 25
Biréli Lagrène is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Biréli Lagrène Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion

34
+ - 85 56
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jeff Beck Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

35
+ - 43 21
Bucky Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Bucky Pizzarelli Swing music, Big band, Jazz

36
+ - 59 35
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
+ - 23 5
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

38
+ - 108 78
Carlos Santana is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Carlos Santana Blues-rock, Chicano rock, Pop music

39
+ - 41 22
George Van Eps is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

40
+ - 62 42
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

41
+ - 38 21
John Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John Pizzarelli Swing music, Jazz

42
+ - 36 21
Lonnie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lonnie Johnson St. Louis blues, Jazz blues, Piedmont blues

43
+ - 32 19
Jimmy Bruno is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

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44
+ - 28 16
Eric Gale is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Eric Gale Pop music, Jazz

45
+ - 28 16
Ted Greene is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Ted Greene Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz

46
+ - 15 4
Emily Remler is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Emily Remler Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

47
+ - 17 6
Laurindo Almeida is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Laurindo Almeida Jazz, Bossa nova

48
+ - 50 37
Robben Ford is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Robben Ford Rock music, Jazz fusion, Jazz

49
+ - 28 17
Jimmy Raney is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jimmy Raney Cool jazz, Hard bop

50
+ - 34 23
Sonny Sharrock is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time