Musicians The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time  

Ranker Music
14.1k votes 2.4k voters 200.9k views 130 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
689 215
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
566 175
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Joe Pass Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

3
532 164
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
301 114
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
224 98
Charlie Christian is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Charlie Christian Swing music, Big band, Jazz

6
254 116
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
391 199
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
407 210
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
245 114
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Kenny Burrell Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

10
240 112
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
191 83
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Pat Martino Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

12
198 88
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
182 79
Herb Ellis is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Herb Ellis Cool jazz, Swing music, West Coast jazz

14
257 127
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John McLaughlin Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

15
264 138
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
123 50
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Tal Farlow Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

17
153 75
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
199 116
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
140 74
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
101 46
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Johnny Smith Cool jazz

21
72 27
Freddie Green is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Freddie Green

The Best Family Haulers

22
113 58
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Bill Frisell Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

23
87 39
John Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
John Abercrombie Avant-garde jazz, Cool jazz, Hard bop

24
95 45
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lenny Breau Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

25
165 98
Chet Atkins is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Chet Atkins Folk music, Jazz, Country

26
91 43
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Gábor Szabó Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

27
108 56
Paco de Lucía is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Paco de Lucía Flamenco, World music, Classical music

28
88 41
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

The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

29
106 56
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Larry Coryell Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz

30
100 53
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 36
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
86 46
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
63 28
Bucky Pizzarelli is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
looksharp added Bucky Pizzarelli Swing music, Big band, Jazz

34
137 87
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
47 17
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Frano Frano added Kurt Rosenwinkel Jazz

Catchiest Viral Internet Songs of All Time

36
60 29
Eddie Lang is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Eddie Lang Jazz

37
60 30
George Van Eps is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

38
117 78
Jeff Beck is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
slaft added Jeff Beck Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

39
48 25
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
33 12
Julian Lage is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Deimantas Jurevičius added Julian Lage Jazz

41
53 31
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
53 31
Martin Taylor is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

To Become A Jazz Great, He Had To Hide His True Heritage – The Son Of A Hitler-Supporting ...

43
30 11
Emily Remler is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Nicty added Emily Remler Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

44
30 11
Earl Klugh is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Earl Klugh Crossover jazz, Smooth jazz, Jazz fusion

45
93 67
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
tony-c- added Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

46
43 23
Jimmy Bruno is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time

47
32 14
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
43 24
Ted Greene is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Ted Greene Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz

49
45 26
Lonnie Johnson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Lonnie Johnson St. Louis blues, Jazz blues, Piedmont blues

50
41 24
Jimmy Raney is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Jazz Guitarists of All Time
Jimmy Raney Cool jazz, Hard bop