bands/musicians The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time  

Ranker Music
10.8k votes 1.8k voters 187.3k views 124 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
455 111
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
407 142
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Django Reinhardt Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz

3
504 187
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Wes Montgomery Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

4
258 78
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
332 172
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
George Benson Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

6
156 66
Herb Ellis is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Herb Ellis Cool jazz, Swing music, West Coast jazz

7
203 96
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
225 111
Les Paul is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Les Paul Pop music, Rock music, Rock and roll

9
204 99
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John McLaughlin Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

10
173 80
Charlie Christian is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Charlie Christian Swing music, Big band, Jazz

11
147 64
John Scofield is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John Scofield Nu jazz, Jazz-funk, Acid jazz

12
193 93
Grant Green is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Grant Green Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz

13
145 63
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Martino Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

14
197 96
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Kenny Burrell Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

15
311 168
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Metheny Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

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16
121 57
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
95 40
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Tal Farlow Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

18
162 87
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
113 56
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
56 16
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Freddie Green

21
86 38
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Larry Coryell Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

22
63 24
Charlie Byrd is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
BlairClark added Charlie Byrd Swing music, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz

23
68 29
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Gábor Szabó Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

24
135 80
Chet Atkins is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Chet Atkins Folk music, Jazz, Country

25
76 36
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Johnny Smith Cool jazz

26
84 42
Stanley Jordan is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Stanley Jordan Jazz fusion, Jazz

27
79 39
Paco de Lucía is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Paco de Lucía Flamenco, World music, Classical music

28
65 29
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lenny Breau Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

29
67 31
John Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John Abercrombie Avant-garde jazz, Cool jazz, Hard bop

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30
86 46
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Bill Frisell Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

31
116 73
Lee Ritenour is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lee Ritenour Jazz-funk, Pop music, Sophisti-pop

32
57 27
Biréli Lagrène is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Biréli Lagrène Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion

33
68 37
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
48 22
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
30 8
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Frano Frano added Kurt Rosenwinkel Jazz

36
45 21
Eddie Lang is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Eddie Lang Jazz

37
45 23
George Van Eps is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

38
42 21
John Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added John Pizzarelli Swing music, Jazz

39
72 47
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
tony-c- added Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

40
89 63
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Jeff Beck Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

41
23 6
Laurindo Almeida is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
LaphaetonZ added Laurindo Almeida Jazz, Bossa nova

42
34 16
Eric Gale is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Eric Gale Pop music, Jazz

43
35 17
Ted Greene is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Ted Greene Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz

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44
12 1
Earl Klugh is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Guest_cd5e07dd-1d61-40e1-8e8c-7a19ee31373a added Earl Klugh Crossover jazz, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

45
114 88
Carlos Santana is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
DarrelSewell added Carlos Santana Blues-rock, Chicano rock, Pop music

46
20 5
Emily Remler is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Nicty added Emily Remler Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

47
39 24
Sonny Sharrock is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

48
18 5
Julian Lage is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Deimantas Jurevičius added Julian Lage Jazz

49
31 17
Jimmy Raney is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jimmy Raney Cool jazz, Hard bop

50
54 38
Robben Ford is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Robben Ford Rock music, Jazz fusion, Jazz