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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
98 42
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
79 34
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
74 36
Charles Mingus is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Alternate Takes, Money Jungle, Blues & Roots
4
70 36
Miles Davis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Bitches Brew, Kind of Blue, Agharta
5
69 36
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
49 24
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
24 6
Fats Waller is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Classic American Music, A Portrait of Fats Waller, Ain't Misbehavin'
8
50 28
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
38 19
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
20 4
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
The Complete Django Reinhardt and Quintet of the Hot Club of France Swing/HMV Sessions 1936-1948, Django Reinhardt & Stéphane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt
11
45 26
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
52 32
Herbie Hancock is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Maiden Voyage, Jazz Africa, Tempest in the Colosseum
13
19 4
Lionel Hampton is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
slaft added Vibramatic! - Revisited Series, Part IV, Giants of Jazz
14
33 16
Bill Evans is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Waltz for Debby, We Will Meet Again, Bill Evans With Symphony Orchestra
15
39 23
Dave Brubeck is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
A Dave Brubeck Christmas, Giants of Jazz, Time Further Out
16
29 18
Chick Corea is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
slaft added Now He Sings, Now He Sobs, Time Warp
17
30 19
Ornette Coleman is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
The Shape of Jazz to Come, At The "Golden Circle" Stockholm, Volume 2
18
19 12
Horace Silver is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
The Cape Verdean Blues, Song for My Father, Horace-Scope
19
23 18
Count Basie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Ella & Basie: On the Sunny Side of the Street, April in Paris, One O'Clock Jump
20
17 12
Billy Strayhorn is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Lush Life, Great Times! (feat. Billy Strayhorn), Cue for Saxophone
21
18 15
Sonny Rollins is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
slaft added Sonny Side Up, Planet Jazz: Sonny Rollins, Sonny Rollins and the Contemporary Leaders
22
17 15
Joe Zawinul is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
slaft added 75, The Rise & Fall of the Third Stream, My People
23
12 11
Tadd Dameron is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Fontainebleau, The Chronological Classics: Tadd Dameron 1947-1949, Mating Call
24
12 11
Eric Dolphy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
‘Out to Lunch!’, Cornell 1964, Straight Ahead
25
17 17
Carla Bley is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Jazz Composers of All Time
Live!, Escalator Over the Hill, The Ballad of the Fallen