bands/musicians The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time  

Ranker Music
11.4k votes 1.9k voters 189.8k views 128 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
475 123
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Joe Pass Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

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2
550 190
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
428 149
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
266 84
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
156 63
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Martino Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

6
347 180
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
George Benson Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

7
210 98
Jim Hall is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jim Hall Cool jazz, Post-bop, Jazz

8
218 103
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John McLaughlin Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

9
329 171
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Metheny Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

10
207 98
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Kenny Burrell Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

11
180 82
Charlie Christian is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Charlie Christian Swing music, Big band, Jazz

12
159 69
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
199 95
Grant Green is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Grant Green Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz

14
159 70
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

15
231 118
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

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16
130 59
Allan Holdsworth is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Allan Holdsworth Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

17
102 42
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Tal Farlow Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

18
168 91
Al Di Meola is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Al Di Meola Chicano rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

19
118 60
Larry Carlton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Larry Carlton Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

20
92 42
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Larry Coryell Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

21
75 30
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Gábor Szabó Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

22
75 31
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lenny Breau Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

23
143 82
Chet Atkins is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Chet Atkins Folk music, Jazz, Country

24
80 36
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Johnny Smith Cool jazz

25
71 31
John Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John Abercrombie Avant-garde jazz, Cool jazz, Hard bop

26
67 29
Charlie Byrd is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
BlairClark added Charlie Byrd Swing music, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz

27
55 20
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Freddie Green

28
85 43
Stanley Jordan is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Stanley Jordan Jazz fusion, Jazz

29
91 48
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Bill Frisell Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

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30
84 43
Paco de Lucía is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Paco de Lucía Flamenco, World music, Classical music

31
61 28
Biréli Lagrène is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Biréli Lagrène Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion

32
73 38
Mike Stern is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Mike Stern Rock music, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

33
36 9
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Frano Frano added Kurt Rosenwinkel Jazz

34
117 74
Lee Ritenour is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lee Ritenour Jazz-funk, Pop music, Sophisti-pop

35
48 22
Eddie Lang is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Eddie Lang Jazz

36
49 23
Bucky Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Bucky Pizzarelli Swing music, Big band, Jazz

37
47 24
George Van Eps is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

38
77 50
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
tony-c- added Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

39
25 6
Laurindo Almeida is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
LaphaetonZ added Laurindo Almeida Jazz, Bossa nova

40
43 22
John Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added John Pizzarelli Swing music, Jazz

41
38 18
Ted Greene is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Ted Greene Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz

42
24 6
Emily Remler is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Nicty added Emily Remler Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

43
94 67
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Jeff Beck Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

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44
23 7
Julian Lage is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Deimantas Jurevičius added Julian Lage Jazz

45
36 19
Eric Gale is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Eric Gale Pop music, Jazz

46
59 40
Robben Ford is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Robben Ford Rock music, Jazz fusion, Jazz

47
42 25
Sonny Sharrock is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

48
34 18
Jimmy Raney is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jimmy Raney Cool jazz, Hard bop

49
116 92
Carlos Santana is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
DarrelSewell added Carlos Santana Blues-rock, Chicano rock, Pop music

50
41 25
Martin Taylor is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time