Musicians The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time  

Ranker Music
14.8k votes 2.5k voters 202.5k 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
717 219
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
554 171
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
584 184
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Joe Pass Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

4
309 123
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
412 206
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Metheny Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

6
429 217
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
George Benson Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

7
232 102
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
255 117
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Kenny Burrell Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

9
274 129
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John McLaughlin Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

10
252 116
Grant Green is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Grant Green 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
Jim Hall Cool jazz, Post-bop, Jazz

12
197 86
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Martino 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
John Scofield 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
Herb Ellis 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
Les Paul Pop music, Rock music, Rock and roll

16
131 53
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Tal Farlow Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

17
162 79
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
103 45
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Gábor Szabó Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

19
207 122
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
147 80
Larry Carlton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Larry Carlton Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

21
106 51
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Johnny Smith Cool jazz

22
103 50
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lenny Breau Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

23
118 63
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Bill Frisell Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

24
116 63
Paco de Lucía is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Paco de Lucía Flamenco, World music, Classical music

25
90 44
John Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John Abercrombie Avant-garde jazz, Cool jazz, Hard bop

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

27
111 61
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
76 34
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Freddie Green

29
92 48
Charlie Byrd is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
BlairClark added Charlie Byrd 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 Stanley Jordan Jazz fusion, Jazz

31
90 50
Mike Stern is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Mike Stern Rock music, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

32
52 20
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Frano Frano added Kurt Rosenwinkel Jazz

33
78 41
Biréli Lagrène is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Biréli Lagrène Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion

34
141 93
Lee Ritenour is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lee Ritenour 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 Bucky Pizzarelli 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 Jeff Beck Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

38
62 34
Eddie Lang is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Eddie Lang Jazz

39
48 25
Jimmy Raney is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jimmy Raney 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
Ted Greene 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 Emily Remler 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 Julian Lage Jazz

44
55 33
Martin Taylor is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

45
49 28
Howard Roberts is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Howard Roberts Rock and roll, Jazz, Country

46
34 15
Laurindo Almeida is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
LaphaetonZ added Laurindo Almeida Jazz, Bossa nova

47
34 15
Earl Klugh is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Earl Klugh 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 John Pizzarelli 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 Frank Zappa 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
Lonnie Johnson St. Louis blues, Jazz blues, Piedmont blues