Jazz The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time  

Ranker Music
15.9k votes 2.7k voters 205.2k views 136 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
754 226
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

2
581 177
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz

3
615 194
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

4
318 134
Barney Kessel is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pop music, Cool jazz, Rock music

5
442 219
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

6
271 122
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

7
244 106
Charlie Christian is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Swing music, Big band, Jazz

8
453 231
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

9
292 135
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

10
275 125
Jim Hall is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz, Post-bop, Jazz

11
271 123
Grant Green is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz

12
224 98
John Scofield is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Nu jazz, Jazz-funk, Acid jazz

13
197 86
Herb Ellis is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz, Swing music, West Coast jazz

14
207 93
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

15
130 48
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

16
278 145
Les Paul is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Rock and roll

17
135 60
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

18
173 88
Allan Holdsworth is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

19
162 86
Larry Carlton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

20
226 132
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
128 66
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

22
131 69
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

23
112 56
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

24
103 50
John Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Avant-garde jazz, Cool jazz, Hard bop

25
104 51
Charlie Byrd is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
BlairClark added Swing music, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz

26
84 36
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added

27
110 56
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz

28
183 114
Chet Atkins is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Folk music, Jazz, Country

29
126 72
Paco de Lucía is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Flamenco, World music, Classical music

30
116 67
Stanley Jordan is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Jazz fusion, Jazz

31
154 97
Lee Ritenour is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jazz-funk, Pop music, Sophisti-pop

32
103 57
Mike Stern is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Rock music, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

33
86 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
48 16
Earl Klugh is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Crossover jazz, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

35
68 36
Bucky Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Swing music, Big band, Jazz

36
56 26
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Frano Frano added Jazz

37
67 36
George Van Eps is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

38
44 17
Julian Lage is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Deimantas Jurevičius added Jazz

39
66 36
Eddie Lang is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jazz

40
56 29
Howard Roberts is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Rock and roll, Jazz, Country

41
135 97
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

42
40 16
Laurindo Almeida is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
LaphaetonZ added Jazz, Bossa nova

43
40 17
Emily Remler is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Nicty added Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

44
50 26
Jimmy Raney is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz, Hard bop

45
51 28
Ed Bickert is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jazz

46
47 25
Jimmy Bruno is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

47
49 27
Ted Greene is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz

48
52 30
Eric Gale is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Pop music, Jazz

49
56 34
Martin Taylor is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

50
58 36
John Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Swing music, Jazz