bands/musicians The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time  

9.3k votes 1.5k voters 184k 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.
list ordered by

1
+ - 375 80
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
+ - 351 97
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
+ - 201 51
Barney Kessel is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Barney Kessel Pop music, Cool jazz, Rock music

4
+ - 432 152
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
+ - 284 142
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
George Benson Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

6
+ - 110 39
Herb Ellis is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Herb Ellis Cool jazz, Swing music, West Coast jazz

7
+ - 153 65
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
+ - 184 84
Les Paul is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Les Paul Pop music, Rock music, Rock and roll

9
+ - 174 78
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
+ - 183 85
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Kenny Burrell Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

11
+ - 158 70
Jim Hall is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jim Hall Cool jazz, Post-bop, Jazz

12
+ - 278 145
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
+ - 131 56
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
+ - 189 94
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
+ - 127 58
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
+ - 152 78
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
+ - 87 35
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Tal Farlow Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

18
+ - 107 49
Allan Holdsworth is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Allan Holdsworth Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

19
+ - 80 33
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
+ - 48 12
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

21
+ - 129 71
Chet Atkins is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Chet Atkins Folk music, Jazz, Country

22
+ - 101 51
Larry Carlton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Larry Carlton Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

23
+ - 80 36
Stanley Jordan is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Stanley Jordan Jazz fusion, Jazz

24
+ - 68 29
Paco de Lucía is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Paco de Lucía Flamenco, World music, Classical music

25
+ - 68 31
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Johnny Smith Cool jazz

26
+ - 54 21
Charlie Byrd is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Charlie Byrd Swing music, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz

27
+ - 108 66
Lee Ritenour is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lee Ritenour Jazz-funk, Pop music, Sophisti-pop

28
+ - 75 42
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Bill Frisell Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

29
+ - 43 17
Bucky Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Bucky Pizzarelli Swing music, Big band, Jazz

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30
+ - 58 29
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Gábor Szabó Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

31
+ - 56 28
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lenny Breau Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

32
+ - 56 29
John Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John Abercrombie Avant-garde jazz, Cool jazz, Hard bop

33
+ - 84 53
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jeff Beck Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

34
+ - 42 19
Eddie Lang is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Eddie Lang Jazz

35
+ - 107 74
Carlos Santana is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Carlos Santana Blues-rock, Chicano rock, Pop music

36
+ - 58 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
+ - 46 25
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
+ - 62 39
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

39
+ - 21 5
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

40
+ - 39 22
George Van Eps is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

41
+ - 37 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
+ - 50 36
Robben Ford is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Robben Ford Rock music, Jazz fusion, Jazz

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44
+ - 27 16
Eric Gale is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Eric Gale Pop music, Jazz

45
+ - 27 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
+ - 28 17
Jimmy Raney is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jimmy Raney Cool jazz, Hard bop

47
+ - 30 19
Jimmy Bruno is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

48
+ - 34 23
Sonny Sharrock is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

49
+ - 13 4
Emily Remler is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Emily Remler Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

50
+ - 14 6
Laurindo Almeida is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Laurindo Almeida Jazz, Bossa nova