musicians The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time  

Ranker Music
12k votes 2k voters 191.4k 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
485 128
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Joe Pass Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

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2
572 192
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
447 149
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
273 86
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
217 98
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Kenny Burrell Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

6
218 100
Jim Hall is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jim Hall Cool jazz, Post-bop, Jazz

7
187 84
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
338 177
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Metheny Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

9
354 187
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
George Benson Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

10
160 68
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
222 108
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
204 97
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
240 122
Les Paul is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Les Paul Pop music, Rock music, Rock and roll

14
162 73
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
161 73
Herb Ellis is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Herb Ellis Cool jazz, Swing music, West Coast jazz

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16
133 64
Allan Holdsworth is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Allan Holdsworth Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion, Jazz

17
104 45
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Tal Farlow Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

18
172 96
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
122 66
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
85 40
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Johnny Smith Cool jazz

21
78 35
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Gábor Szabó Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

22
95 48
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Larry Coryell Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

23
80 37
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lenny Breau Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

24
145 87
Chet Atkins is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Chet Atkins Folk music, Jazz, Country

25
70 32
Charlie Byrd is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
BlairClark added Charlie Byrd Swing music, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz

26
88 46
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
94 52
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Bill Frisell Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

28
56 23
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Freddie Green

29
66 31
Biréli Lagrène is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Biréli Lagrène Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion

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30
72 36
John Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John Abercrombie Avant-garde jazz, Cool jazz, Hard bop

31
85 47
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
76 42
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
122 80
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
52 24
Eddie Lang is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Eddie Lang Jazz

35
53 25
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
37 14
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Frano Frano added Kurt Rosenwinkel Jazz

37
50 27
George Van Eps is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

38
46 25
John Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added John Pizzarelli Swing music, Jazz

39
42 23
Lonnie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lonnie Johnson St. Louis blues, Jazz blues, Piedmont blues

40
26 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
26 9
Laurindo Almeida is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
LaphaetonZ added Laurindo Almeida Jazz, Bossa nova

42
80 57
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
tony-c- added Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

43
39 21
Ted Greene is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Ted Greene Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz

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44
96 72
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Jeff Beck Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

45
45 27
Martin Taylor is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

46
37 20
Eric Gale is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Eric Gale Pop music, Jazz

47
24 9
Julian Lage is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Deimantas Jurevičius added Julian Lage Jazz

48
35 20
Jimmy Raney is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jimmy Raney Cool jazz, Hard bop

49
38 23
Howard Roberts is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Howard Roberts Rock and roll, Jazz, Country

50
117 96
Carlos Santana is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
DarrelSewell added Carlos Santana Blues-rock, Chicano rock, Pop music