Jazz The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time  

Ranker Music
15.5k votes 2.6k voters 204.1k 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
739 225
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

2
570 175
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz

3
605 190
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

4
314 131
Barney Kessel is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pop music, Cool jazz, Rock music

5
432 213
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

6
242 105
Charlie Christian is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Swing music, Big band, Jazz

7
445 227
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

8
286 133
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

9
262 120
Grant Green is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz

10
261 120
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

11
221 96
John Scofield is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Nu jazz, Jazz-funk, Acid jazz

12
268 125
Jim Hall is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz, Post-bop, Jazz

13
204 92
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

14
191 86
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
275 145
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 59
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

17
170 86
Allan Holdsworth is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

18
115 48
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

19
156 85
Larry Carlton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

20
219 131
Al Di Meola is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Chicano rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

21
129 68
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

22
110 55
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz

23
110 55
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

24
122 65
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

25
82 35
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added

26
99 48
John Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Avant-garde jazz, Cool jazz, Hard bop

27
122 68
Paco de Lucía is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Flamenco, World music, Classical music

28
177 113
Chet Atkins is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Folk music, Jazz, Country

29
96 50
Charlie Byrd is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
BlairClark added Swing music, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz

30
100 54
Mike Stern is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Rock music, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

31
111 65
Stanley Jordan is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Jazz fusion, Jazz

32
149 96
Lee Ritenour is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jazz-funk, Pop music, Sophisti-pop

33
83 44
Biréli Lagrène is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion

34
55 24
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Frano Frano added Jazz

35
66 35
George Van Eps is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

36
66 35
Bucky Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Swing music, Big band, Jazz

37
42 16
Julian Lage is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Deimantas Jurevičius added Jazz

38
64 35
Eddie Lang is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jazz

39
40 15
Earl Klugh is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Crossover jazz, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

40
130 95
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

41
49 25
Jimmy Raney is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz, Hard bop

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

43
49 27
Ted Greene is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz

44
36 16
Laurindo Almeida is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
LaphaetonZ added Jazz, Bossa nova

45
49 28
Ed Bickert is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jazz

46
50 29
Howard Roberts is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Rock and roll, Jazz, Country

47
55 34
Martin Taylor is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

48
57 36
John Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Swing music, Jazz

49
47 27
Lonnie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
St. Louis blues, Jazz blues, Piedmont blues

50
49 30
Sonny Sharrock is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time