Musicians The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time  

Ranker Music
14.9k votes 2.5k voters 202.7k 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
719 219
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

2
557 171
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz

3
586 184
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

4
309 123
Barney Kessel is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pop music, Cool jazz, Rock music

5
414 206
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

6
431 219
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

7
232 103
Charlie Christian is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Swing music, Big band, Jazz

8
275 129
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

9
255 117
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

10
252 116
Grant Green is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz

11
259 121
Jim Hall is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz, Post-bop, Jazz

12
198 86
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

13
206 93
John Scofield is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Nu jazz, Jazz-funk, Acid jazz

14
188 82
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
269 142
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
132 54
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

17
163 80
Allan Holdsworth is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

18
106 45
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

19
208 122
Al Di Meola is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Chicano rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

20
147 80
Larry Carlton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

21
107 52
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz

22
103 51
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

23
118 64
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

24
90 44
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
116 64
Paco de Lucía is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Flamenco, World music, Classical music

26
172 107
Chet Atkins is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Folk music, Jazz, Country

27
76 34
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added

28
111 62
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

29
92 48
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
103 59
Stanley Jordan is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Jazz fusion, Jazz

31
91 50
Mike Stern is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Rock music, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

32
79 41
Biréli Lagrène is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion

33
52 20
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Frano Frano added Jazz

34
141 93
Lee Ritenour is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jazz-funk, Pop music, Sophisti-pop

35
65 33
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
64 33
George Van Eps is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

37
125 84
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

38
63 34
Eddie Lang is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jazz

39
48 25
Jimmy Raney is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Cool jazz, Hard bop

40
46 24
Jimmy Bruno is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

41
48 26
Ted Greene is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz

42
33 13
Emily Remler is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Nicty added Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

43
35 15
Julian Lage is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Deimantas Jurevičius added Jazz

44
35 15
Laurindo Almeida is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
LaphaetonZ added Jazz, Bossa nova

45
55 33
Martin Taylor is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

46
49 28
Howard Roberts is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Rock and roll, Jazz, Country

47
34 15
Earl Klugh is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Crossover jazz, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

48
56 35
John Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Swing music, Jazz

49
98 74
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
tony-c- added Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

50
46 27
Lonnie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
St. Louis blues, Jazz blues, Piedmont blues