music The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History  

3.8k votes 482 voters 12k views 106 items Follow Embed
Similar to the harpsichord and piano, but more grand and beautiful, the organ can create a louder, richer sound with a deep bass. The sound that comes out of an organ is often projected through large, steel pipes, especially in a setting that requires the sound to project through an entire room, such as in a symphony hall or large cathedral. The organ is also trickier to master than similar instruments. Who are the greatest organists of all time?

The musicians listed here are known for being the absolute best, and have received a place of prominence in the world of music because of their incredible talent on the organ. This list has been ranked by the community's votes to determine the absolute best organists of all time, living or dead, from all periods of music history.
 
This list includes top organists like Tori Amos, Steve Winwood, John Paul Jones, and Mike Oldfield. Vote up the best organists in history below or add an organ player you think is great if he or she isn't already on the list.
list ordered by

1
+ - 102 27
Fats Waller is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Fats Waller Stride, Ragtime, Swing music

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2
+ - 48 13
Count Basie is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Count Basie Swing music, Big band, Piano blues

3
+ - 46 25
Herbie Hancock is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Herbie Hancock Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Electro

4
+ - 105 76
Keith Emerson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Keith Emerson Classic rock, Rock music, Classical music

5
+ - 39 22
Chick Corea is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Chick Corea Kozmigroov, Fusion, Avant-garde jazz

6
+ - 90 67
Jimmy Smith is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Jimmy Smith Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz fusion

7
+ - 69 51
Joey DeFrancesco is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Joey DeFrancesco Hard bop, Post-bop, Jazz

8
+ - 63 46
Billy Preston is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Billy Preston Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

9
+ - 84 65
Jon Lord is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Jon Lord Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

10
+ - 28 15
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Ray Charles Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music

11
+ - 23 11
Joe Zawinul is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Joe Zawinul Romantic music, World music, Jazz fusion

12
+ - 70 54
Rick Wakeman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rick Wakeman Christian music, Pop music, Rock music

13
+ - 65 52
Steve Winwood is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Steve Winwood Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music

14
+ - 71 60
Ray Manzarek is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Ray Manzarek Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion

15
+ - 49 40
Booker T. Jones is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Booker T. Jones Instrumental rock, Electric blues, Rhythm and blues

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16
+ - 44 36
Brian Auger is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Brian Auger Jazz fusion

17
+ - 41 34
Rick DePiro is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rick DePiro Rock music, Jazz, Country

18
+ - 17 11
Jack McDuff is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Jack McDuff Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Rhythm and blues

19
+ - 24 18
Al Kooper is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Al Kooper Rhythm and blues, Pop rock, Blues

20
+ - 32 26
Rod Argent is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rod Argent Pop music, Rock music, Progressive rock

21
+ - 39 33
Tony Banks is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Tony Banks Rock music, Classical music, Pop rock

22
+ - 46 41
Paul Shaffer is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Paul Shaffer Contemporary; Jazz; Blues

23
+ - 32 28
Gregg Allman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Gregg Allman Rock music, Gospel music, Country

24
+ - 22 18
Keith Jarrett is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Keith Jarrett Avant-garde jazz, Classical music, Smooth jazz

25
+ - 20 16
Kerry Minnear is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Kerry Minnear Christian music

26
+ - 20 16
Jan Hammer is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Jan Hammer Synthpop, Pop music, Jazz fusion

27
+ - 20 16
John DeFrancesco is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History

28
+ - 16 12
Hugh Banton is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Hugh Banton Classical; Soul; Jazz; Blues

29
+ - 64 62
Barbara Dennerlein is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History

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30
+ - 26 23
Richard Wright is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Richard Wright Electronic music, Experimental rock, Jazz

31
+ - 21 18
Gregg Rolie is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Gregg Rolie Rock and roll, Hard rock

32
+ - 19 16
Tom Coster is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Tom Coster Rock music, Rock en EspaƱol, Jazz fusion

33
+ - 18 15
Don Airey is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Don Airey Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

34
+ - 14 11
Danny Federici is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Danny Federici Rock music, Smooth jazz, Jazz

35
+ - 10 7
Philip Glass is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Philip Glass Opera, Classical music, Contemporary classical music

36
+ - 27 25
John Paul Jones is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
John Paul Jones Blues-rock, Instrumental rock, Folk rock

37
+ - 27 25
Ken Hensley is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Ken Hensley Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock

38
+ - 22 20
George Gershwin is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
George Gershwin Opera, Musical theatre, Film score

39
+ - 22 20
Wild Bill Davis is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Wild Bill Davis Country; Jazz; Blues

40
+ - 16 14
Patrick Moraz is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Patrick Moraz Electronic music, Jazz fusion, Progressive rock

41
+ - 15 13
Garth Hudson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Garth Hudson Americana, Pop music, Rock music

42
+ - 15 13
John Evan is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
John Evan Rock music, Alternative rock, Progressive rock

43
+ - 15 14
Vincent Crane is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Vincent Crane Blues-rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

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44
+ - 15 14
Doug Ingle is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Doug Ingle Acid rock, Instrumental, Psychedelic rock

45
+ - 15 14
Tony Kaye is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Tony Kaye Progressive rock

46
+ - 15 14
George Duke is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
George Duke Crossover jazz, Sophisti-pop, Smooth jazz

47
+ - 15 14
Rick van der Linden is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rick van der Linden Rock music, Progressive rock

48
+ - 14 13
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49
+ - 14 13
Graham Bond is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Graham Bond Blues-rock, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

50
+ - 14 13
Steve Walsh is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Steve Walsh Rock music, Progressive rock, Hard rock