Musicians The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time  

Ranker Music
14.5k votes 2.4k voters 201.9k 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.

1
709 219
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
546 169
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Django Reinhardt Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz

3
577 182
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Joe Pass Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

4
307 120
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
421 213
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
403 204
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Metheny Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

7
229 101
Charlie Christian is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Charlie Christian Swing music, Big band, Jazz

8
247 114
Grant Green is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Grant Green Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz

9
256 120
Jim Hall is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jim Hall Cool jazz, Post-bop, Jazz

10
250 117
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Kenny Burrell Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

11
267 129
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John McLaughlin Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

12
186 81
Herb Ellis is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Herb Ellis Cool jazz, Swing music, West Coast jazz

13
193 86
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Martino Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

14
202 92
John Scofield is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John Scofield Nu jazz, Jazz-funk, Acid jazz

15
269 140
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
128 52
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Tal Farlow Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

17
157 78
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
144 76
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
203 120
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
104 49
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Johnny Smith Cool jazz

21
171 101
Chet Atkins is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Chet Atkins Folk music, Jazz, Country

22
99 48
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lenny Breau Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

23
93 44
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Gábor Szabó Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

24
74 30
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Freddie Green

25
115 61
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Bill Frisell Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

26
112 59
Paco de Lucía is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Paco de Lucía Flamenco, World music, Classical music

27
110 58
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Larry Coryell Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

28
91 44
Charlie Byrd is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
BlairClark added Charlie Byrd Swing music, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz

29
88 43
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

30
103 56
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
77 39
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
140 90
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
122 79
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Jeff Beck Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

34
86 50
Mike Stern is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Mike Stern Rock music, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

35
64 32
Bucky Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Bucky Pizzarelli Swing music, Big band, Jazz

36
48 20
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Frano Frano added Kurt Rosenwinkel Jazz

37
62 32
Eddie Lang is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Eddie Lang Jazz

38
62 32
George Van Eps is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

39
49 27
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
45 24
Jimmy Bruno is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

41
33 14
Earl Klugh is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Earl Klugh Crossover jazz, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

42
34 15
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
34 15
Julian Lage is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Deimantas Jurevičius added Julian Lage Jazz

44
54 33
Martin Taylor is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

45
45 25
Jimmy Raney is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jimmy Raney Cool jazz, Hard bop

46
55 34
John Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added John Pizzarelli Swing music, Jazz

47
46 26
Ted Greene is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Ted Greene Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz

48
96 71
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
tony-c- added Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

49
31 13
Emily Remler is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Nicty added Emily Remler Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

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