musicians The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time  

Ranker Music
13.3k votes 2.3k voters 198k views 129 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
663 204
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Wes Montgomery Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

2
548 161
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Joe Pass Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

3
508 157
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
294 104
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
244 108
Jim Hall is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jim Hall Cool jazz, Post-bop, Jazz

6
232 102
Grant Green is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Grant Green Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz

7
183 75
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Martino Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

8
213 93
Charlie Christian is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Charlie Christian Swing music, Big band, Jazz

9
234 106
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Kenny Burrell Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

10
383 199
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
George Benson Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

11
368 190
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Metheny Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

12
186 80
John Scofield is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John Scofield Nu jazz, Jazz-funk, Acid jazz

13
174 74
Herb Ellis is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Herb Ellis Cool jazz, Swing music, West Coast jazz

14
244 119
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John McLaughlin Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

15
254 130
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

16
119 46
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Tal Farlow Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

17
144 70
Allan Holdsworth is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Allan Holdsworth Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

18
137 69
Larry Carlton is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Larry Carlton Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

19
190 107
Al Di Meola is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Al Di Meola Chicano rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

20
106 51
Paco de Lucía is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Paco de Lucía Flamenco, World music, Classical music

21
92 41
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lenny Breau Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

The Best Current Action TV Series

22
89 39
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Gábor Szabó Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

23
82 34
Charlie Byrd is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
BlairClark added Charlie Byrd Swing music, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz

24
94 43
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Johnny Smith Cool jazz

25
161 94
Chet Atkins is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Chet Atkins Folk music, Jazz, Country

26
105 55
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Bill Frisell Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

27
81 38
John Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John Abercrombie Avant-garde jazz, Cool jazz, Hard bop

28
102 54
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Larry Coryell Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

29
64 26
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Freddie Green

30
95 50
Stanley Jordan is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Stanley Jordan Jazz fusion, Jazz

31
73 35
Biréli Lagrène is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Biréli Lagrène Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion

32
131 83
Lee Ritenour is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lee Ritenour Jazz-funk, Pop music, Sophisti-pop

33
82 45
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
59 27
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
40 15
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Frano Frano added Kurt Rosenwinkel Jazz

Songs That Were Total Ripoffs

36
55 28
Eddie Lang is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Eddie Lang Jazz

37
55 29
George Van Eps is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

38
52 29
Martin Taylor is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

39
46 24
Howard Roberts is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Howard Roberts Rock and roll, Jazz, Country

40
105 76
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
50 28
John Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added John Pizzarelli Swing music, Jazz

42
43 22
Jimmy Bruno is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

To Become A Jazz Great, He Had To Hide His True Heritage – The Son Of A Hitler-Supporting ...

43
28 9
Emily Remler is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Nicty added Emily Remler Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

44
90 64
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
tony-c- added Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

45
27 9
Earl Klugh is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Earl Klugh Crossover jazz, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

46
42 23
Ted Greene is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Ted Greene Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz

47
44 25
Lonnie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lonnie Johnson St. Louis blues, Jazz blues, Piedmont blues

48
29 12
Laurindo Almeida is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
LaphaetonZ added Laurindo Almeida Jazz, Bossa nova

49
27 11
Julian Lage is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Deimantas Jurevičius added Julian Lage Jazz

50
38 22
Jimmy Raney is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jimmy Raney Cool jazz, Hard bop