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Composers The Best Jazz Composers of All Time  

Ranker Music
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List Rules Vote up who you think are the greatest Jazz composers of all time

These are the greatest Jazz composers ranked from best to worst by Jazz fans all over the globe. Much like Jazz itself, the backgrounds of the musicians on this list are extremely diverse. Jazz is about what's between the notes, and when it comes to looking at the best Jazz composers of all time, that's just where you have to look to find them. Between the notes. It goes without saying that Jazz will always be "cool." A few of the most famous Jazz composers have written music that is still popular today. Actually, some of the best Jazz music has burst onto the scene in the last few years alone.

What are some of the names you will find on this best Jazz composers list? “I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good)” and “Don't Get Around Much Anymore” are just two famous Jazz standards with music by Duke Ellington. He regularly wrote songs so they could be performed by his Jazz orchestra. Charlie Parker is another talented composer of Jazz music.

Jazz composer Herbie Hancock is most famous for writing free-style Jazz, but he also includes elements of Funk and Pop into his catchy tunes. Other famous musicians who are featured on this top Jazz composers list include Dizzy Gillespie, Ornette Coleman and Thelonius Monk.

Who do you think is the best Jazz composer? Make sure to give your picks a thumbs up!
list ordered by

1
86 24
Duke Ellington is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Côte d'Azur Concerts on Verve, The Blanton–Webster Band, American Freedom

2
73 19
Thelonious Monk is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Misterioso, Monk's Dream, Monk's Music

3
68 21
Charles Mingus is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Alternate Takes, Money Jungle, Blues & Roots

4
65 21
Miles Davis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Bitches Brew, Kind of Blue, Agharta

5
65 23
John Coltrane is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
A Love Supreme, My Favorite Things, Giant Steps

6
43 13
Charlie Parker is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Portrait, Bird: The Complete Charlie Parker on Verve, The Complete Savoy and Dial Studio Recordings 1944-1948

7
48 19
Herbie Hancock is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Maiden Voyage, Jazz Africa, Tempest in the Colosseum

8
45 17
Wayne Shorter is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Zedzep added The Young Lions, 1+1, A Tribute to Miles

9
34 9
Dizzy Gillespie is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Night in Tunisia, The Trumpet Summit Meets the Oscar Peterson Big Four, Jazz at Massey Hall

10
26 4
Bill Evans is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Waltz for Debby, We Will Meet Again, Bill Evans With Symphony Orchestra

11
40 14
Louis Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Hot Fives and Hot Sevens, American Freedom, C'est si bon

12
33 12
Dave Brubeck is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
A Dave Brubeck Christmas, Giants of Jazz, Time Further Out

13
17 2
Horace Silver is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
The Cape Verdean Blues, Song for My Father, Horace-Scope

14
26 8
Ornette Coleman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
The Shape of Jazz to Come, At The "Golden Circle" Stockholm, Volume 2

15
7 0
Joe Henderson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Mode for Joe, Inner Urge, In 'n Out

16
7 0
Benny Golson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Complete 1957-1958 Quintet & Sextet Sessions, Terminal 1, Tune In Turn On: To the Hippest Commercials of the Sixties

17
7 0
Herbie Nichols is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Herbie Nichols Trio, The Prophetic Herbie Nichols Vol. 2, The Prophetic Herbie Nichols Vol. 1

18
7 0
Cedar Walton is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Breakthrough!, Hank Mobley Quintet, The Promise Land

19
7 0
Gigi Gryce is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Nica's Tempo, Modern Jazz Perspective, Jazz Lab

20
25 8
Chick Corea is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
slaft added Now He Sings, Now He Sobs, Time Warp

21
16 2
Billy Strayhorn is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Lush Life, Great Times! (feat. Billy Strayhorn), Cue for Saxophone

22
6 0
Duke Pearson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Introducing Duke Pearson's Big Band, I Don't Care Who Knows It, Sweet Honey Bee

23
6 0
Gil Evans is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Tad Richards added Sketches of Spain, Quiet Nights, Into the Hot

24
6 0
Benny Carter is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
My Kind of Trouble (feat. Joe Pass, Art Hillery, Andy Simpkins & Ronnie Bedford)

25
6 0
Kenny Wheeler is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Moon, One of Many, Deer Wan