bands/musicians The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time  

Ranker Music
11.0k votes 1.8k voters 188.5k views 127 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
462 115
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
525 187
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
416 146
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
261 80
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
340 175
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
151 63
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Martino Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

7
204 97
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
319 169
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Metheny Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

9
157 69
Herb Ellis is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Herb Ellis Cool jazz, Swing music, West Coast jazz

10
152 66
John Scofield is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John Scofield Nu jazz, Jazz-funk, Acid jazz

11
176 81
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
195 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
209 102
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
200 97
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Kenny Burrell Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

15
228 116
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
126 58
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
96 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
164 89
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
116 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
66 24
Charlie Byrd is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
BlairClark added Charlie Byrd Swing music, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz

21
56 17
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Freddie Green

22
87 40
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Larry Coryell Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

23
139 80
Chet Atkins is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Chet Atkins Folk music, Jazz, Country

24
69 29
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lenny Breau Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

25
69 29
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Gábor Szabó Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

26
78 36
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Johnny Smith Cool jazz

27
84 42
Stanley Jordan is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Stanley Jordan Jazz fusion, Jazz

28
88 46
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Bill Frisell Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

29
68 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
81 41
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
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
71 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
57 28
Biréli Lagrène is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Biréli Lagrène Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion

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
32 9
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 22
Eddie Lang is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Eddie Lang Jazz

37
37 16
Eric Gale is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Eric Gale Pop music, Jazz

38
46 24
George Van Eps is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

39
91 64
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
42 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
73 49
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
tony-c- added Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

42
23 6
Laurindo Almeida is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
LaphaetonZ added Laurindo Almeida Jazz, Bossa nova

43
35 18
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
21 6
Emily Remler is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Nicty added Emily Remler Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

45
114 89
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
57 39
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
39 24
Martin Taylor is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

48
20 7
Julian Lage is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Deimantas Jurevičius added Julian Lage Jazz

49
32 18
Jimmy Raney is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jimmy Raney Cool jazz, Hard bop

50
34 20
Howard Roberts is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Howard Roberts Rock and roll, Jazz, Country