musicians The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time  

Ranker Music
12.5k votes 2.1k voters 194.2k views 129 items Embed

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
509 138
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Joe Pass Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

2
604 194
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Wes Montgomery Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

3
471 151
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
279 96
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
228 102
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
223 100
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Kenny Burrell Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

7
199 88
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
364 190
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
George Benson Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

9
348 182
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Metheny Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

10
169 72
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Martino Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

11
173 75
John Scofield is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John Scofield Nu jazz, Jazz-funk, Acid jazz

12
212 100
Grant Green is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Grant Green Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz

13
229 111
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John McLaughlin Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

14
166 74
Herb Ellis is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Herb Ellis Cool jazz, Swing music, West Coast jazz

The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

15
243 125
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
110 45
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Tal Farlow Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

17
140 67
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
178 100
Al Di Meola is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Al Di Meola Chicano rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

19
130 68
Larry Carlton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Larry Carlton Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

20
89 41
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Johnny Smith Cool jazz

21
83 37
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Gábor Szabó Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

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22
86 40
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lenny Breau Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

23
76 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
153 92
Chet Atkins is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Chet Atkins Folk music, Jazz, Country

25
98 51
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Larry Coryell Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

26
94 48
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
76 36
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
99 54
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Bill Frisell Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

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29
59 24
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Freddie Green

30
69 32
Biréli Lagrène is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Biréli Lagrène Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion

31
86 49
Stanley Jordan is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Stanley Jordan Jazz fusion, Jazz

32
78 43
Mike Stern is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Mike Stern Rock music, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

33
125 83
Lee Ritenour is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lee Ritenour Jazz-funk, Pop music, Sophisti-pop

34
55 26
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
39 14
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Frano Frano added Kurt Rosenwinkel Jazz

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36
52 25
Eddie Lang is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Eddie Lang Jazz

37
53 27
George Van Eps is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

38
49 27
Martin Taylor is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

39
42 22
Ted Greene is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Ted Greene Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz

40
27 9
Emily Remler is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Nicty added Emily Remler Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

41
47 27
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
99 73
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Jeff Beck Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

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43
42 23
Howard Roberts is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Howard Roberts Rock and roll, Jazz, Country

44
43 24
Lonnie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lonnie Johnson St. Louis blues, Jazz blues, Piedmont blues

45
40 22
Jimmy Bruno is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

46
83 61
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
tony-c- added Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

47
27 11
Laurindo Almeida is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
LaphaetonZ added Laurindo Almeida Jazz, Bossa nova

48
22 7
Earl Klugh is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Earl Klugh Crossover jazz, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

49
25 10
Julian Lage is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Deimantas Jurevičius added Julian Lage Jazz

50
37 21
Jimmy Raney is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jimmy Raney Cool jazz, Hard bop