Jazz The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time  

Ranker Music
15.2k votes 2.5k voters 203.4k views 134 items

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
728 223
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

2
598 189
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

3
563 175
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz

4
312 129
Barney Kessel is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pop music, Cool jazz, Rock music

5
423 212
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

6
440 224
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

7
282 131
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

8
237 104
Charlie Christian is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Swing music, Big band, Jazz

9
259 118
Grant Green is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz

10
266 123
Jim Hall is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz, Post-bop, Jazz

11
258 120
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

12
214 95
John Scofield is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Nu jazz, Jazz-funk, Acid jazz

13
200 90
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

14
190 85
Herb Ellis is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz, Swing music, West Coast jazz

15
272 145
Les Paul is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rock and roll

16
133 57
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

17
167 83
Allan Holdsworth is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

18
110 47
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

19
214 126
Al Di Meola is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Chicano rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

20
152 83
Larry Carlton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

21
108 53
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz

22
123 66
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

23
107 54
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

24
79 34
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added

25
118 64
Paco de Lucía is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Flamenco, World music, Classical music

26
116 63
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

27
93 46
John Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Avant-garde jazz, Cool jazz, Hard bop

28
93 48
Charlie Byrd is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
BlairClark added Swing music, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz

29
173 111
Chet Atkins is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Folk music, Jazz, Country

30
96 51
Mike Stern is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Rock music, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

31
107 61
Stanley Jordan is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Jazz fusion, Jazz

32
81 42
Biréli Lagrène is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion

33
145 94
Lee Ritenour is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jazz-funk, Pop music, Sophisti-pop

34
53 22
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Frano Frano added Jazz

35
66 33
Bucky Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Swing music, Big band, Jazz

36
65 33
George Van Eps is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

37
64 34
Eddie Lang is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jazz

38
127 90
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

39
39 15
Julian Lage is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Deimantas Jurevičius added Jazz

40
49 25
Jimmy Raney is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz, Hard bop

41
47 24
Jimmy Bruno is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

42
49 26
Ted Greene is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz

43
36 15
Earl Klugh is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Crossover jazz, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

44
36 15
Laurindo Almeida is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
LaphaetonZ added Jazz, Bossa nova

45
50 28
Howard Roberts is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Rock and roll, Jazz, Country

46
55 33
Martin Taylor is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

47
57 35
John Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Swing music, Jazz

48
34 15
Emily Remler is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Nicty added Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

49
101 77
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
tony-c- added Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

50
46 27
Lonnie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
St. Louis blues, Jazz blues, Piedmont blues