musicians The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time  

Ranker Music
13.1k votes 2.2k voters 197.1k views 129 items 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
535 155
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Joe Pass Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

2
646 200
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Wes Montgomery Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

3
495 154
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Django Reinhardt Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz

4
288 100
Barney Kessel is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Barney Kessel Pop music, Cool jazz, Rock music

5
242 106
Jim Hall is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jim Hall Cool jazz, Post-bop, Jazz

6
211 91
Charlie Christian is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Charlie Christian Swing music, Big band, Jazz

7
232 104
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Kenny Burrell Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

8
226 101
Grant Green is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Grant Green Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz

9
177 74
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Martino Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

10
378 197
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
George Benson Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

11
364 189
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Metheny Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

12
184 79
John Scofield is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John Scofield Nu jazz, Jazz-funk, Acid jazz

13
240 116
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John McLaughlin Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

14
170 74
Herb Ellis is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Herb Ellis Cool jazz, Swing music, West Coast jazz

The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

15
251 129
Les Paul is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Les Paul Pop music, Rock music, Rock and roll

16
119 46
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Tal Farlow Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

17
144 69
Allan Holdsworth is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Allan Holdsworth Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

18
135 69
Larry Carlton is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Larry Carlton Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

19
185 106
Al Di Meola is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Al Di Meola Chicano rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

20
88 38
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Gábor Szabó Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

21
104 50
Paco de Lucía is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Paco de Lucía Flamenco, World music, Classical music

The Grossest Personal Habits

22
93 42
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Johnny Smith Cool jazz

23
82 34
Charlie Byrd is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
BlairClark added Charlie Byrd Swing music, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz

24
90 41
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lenny Breau Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

25
159 94
Chet Atkins is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Chet Atkins Folk music, Jazz, Country

26
105 55
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Bill Frisell Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

27
81 37
John Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John Abercrombie Avant-garde jazz, Cool jazz, Hard bop

28
100 53
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Larry Coryell Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

29
63 26
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Freddie Green

30
71 33
Biréli Lagrène is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Biréli Lagrène Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion

31
90 50
Stanley Jordan is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Stanley Jordan Jazz fusion, Jazz

32
130 83
Lee Ritenour is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lee Ritenour Jazz-funk, Pop music, Sophisti-pop

33
81 44
Mike Stern is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Mike Stern Rock music, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

34
56 26
Bucky Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Bucky Pizzarelli Swing music, Big band, Jazz

35
54 27
Eddie Lang is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Eddie Lang Jazz

15 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

36
39 15
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Frano Frano added Kurt Rosenwinkel Jazz

37
54 28
George Van Eps is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

38
52 29
Martin Taylor is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

39
104 75
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Jeff Beck Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

40
43 22
Jimmy Bruno is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

41
27 8
Earl Klugh is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Earl Klugh Crossover jazz, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

42
44 23
Howard Roberts is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Howard Roberts Rock and roll, Jazz, Country

To Become A Jazz Great, He Had To Hide His True Heritage – The Son Of A Hitler-Supporting ...

43
28 9
Emily Remler is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Nicty added Emily Remler Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

44
48 27
John Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added John Pizzarelli Swing music, Jazz

45
87 63
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
tony-c- added Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

46
42 23
Ted Greene is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Ted Greene Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz

47
29 12
Laurindo Almeida is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
LaphaetonZ added Laurindo Almeida Jazz, Bossa nova

48
43 25
Lonnie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lonnie Johnson St. Louis blues, Jazz blues, Piedmont blues

49
26 11
Julian Lage is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Deimantas Jurevičius added Julian Lage Jazz

50
63 45
Robben Ford is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Robben Ford Rock music, Jazz fusion, Jazz