musicians The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time  

Ranker Music
13.6k votes 2.3k voters 199.2k views 131 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
675 211
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
556 168
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Joe Pass Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

3
521 163
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
297 108
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
247 112
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
188 77
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Martino Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

7
381 193
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Metheny Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

8
216 96
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
234 107
Grant Green is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Grant Green Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz

10
393 204
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
237 110
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Kenny Burrell Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

12
192 83
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
248 121
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
176 77
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
258 134
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
120 47
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Tal Farlow Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

17
150 72
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
195 110
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
138 70
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
91 41
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Gábor Szabó Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

21
92 42
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lenny Breau Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

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22
94 44
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Johnny Smith Cool jazz

23
107 54
Paco de Lucía is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Paco de Lucía Flamenco, World music, Classical music

24
162 95
Chet Atkins is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Chet Atkins Folk music, Jazz, Country

25
85 38
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
106 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
104 54
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
68 27
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Freddie Green

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29
82 38
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
97 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
74 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
63 27
Bucky Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Bucky Pizzarelli Swing music, Big band, Jazz

33
135 84
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
85 45
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
58 28
Eddie Lang is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Eddie Lang Jazz

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36
59 29
George Van Eps is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

37
42 15
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Frano Frano added Kurt Rosenwinkel Jazz

38
53 28
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
30 9
Emily Remler is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Nicty added Emily Remler Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

40
47 24
Howard Roberts is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Howard Roberts Rock and roll, Jazz, Country

41
106 76
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Jeff Beck Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

42
52 29
Martin Taylor is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

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43
32 12
Laurindo Almeida is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
LaphaetonZ added Laurindo Almeida Jazz, Bossa nova

44
43 22
Jimmy Bruno is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

45
29 10
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
90 65
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
45 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 11
Julian Lage is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Deimantas Jurevičius added Julian Lage Jazz

49
42 23
Ted Greene is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Ted Greene Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz

50
63 45
Robben Ford is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Robben Ford Rock music, Jazz fusion, Jazz