Music

The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time  

Ranker Music
4.3k votes 616 voters 11.9k views 70 items

List Rules The absolute best jazz saxophonists of all time. Vote up the greatest musicians who play jazz saxophone.

Smooth jazz, fusion jazz, avant-garde jazz, crossover, West Coast, free jazz. Jazz music has influenced many different genres of music. Jazz brought a sense of style and freedom that had never been seen before in the world, and is still one of the most popular categories of music today. The saxophone has long been a feature of jazz music. Who are the greatest jazz saxophonists of all time?
 
The musicians on this list helped to shape the world of jazz and blues though their talent on the saxophone. Many saxophonists in the jazz world improvise, requiring them to have mastered not just their instrument, but music theory as well.
 
This list features the all time greatest jazz saxophonists, ranked as the best by music lovers and featuring musicians like John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, and Sonny Rollins. Vote up the best jazz saxophonists below and see where the musicians you think are great rank!
list ordered by
1
John Coltrane is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop
2
Charlie Parker is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Jazz, Bebop
3
Sonny Rollins is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz
4
Cannonball Adderley is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz
5
Dexter Gordon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Swing music, Hard bop, Jazz
6
Lester Young is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
7
Wayne Shorter is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Crossover jazz, Third stream, Hard bop
8
Stan Getz is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Cool jazz, Jazz, West Coast jazz
9
Coleman Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Swing music, Bebop
10
Paul Desmond is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Cool jazz, West Coast jazz
11
Ben Webster is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
12
Joe Henderson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Kozmigroov, Hard bop, Jazz fusion
13
Ornette Coleman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Avant-garde jazz, Jazz fusion, Free funk
14
Michael Brecker is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
slaft added Rock music, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues
15
Hank Mobley is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
16
Eric Dolphy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Avant-garde jazz, Third stream, Post-bop
17
Art Pepper is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Charley Farley added Cool jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop
18
Johnny Hodges is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Ballad, Swing music
19
Jackie McLean is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop
20
Sidney Bechet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Ragtime, Jazz, Dixieland
21
Pharoah Sanders is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Kozmigroov, Avant-garde jazz, World fusion music
22
Benny Golson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
giorgio-catella added Hard bop, Bebop
23
Phil Woods is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
looksharp added Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop
24
Charlie Rouse is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop
25
Lee Konitz is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Cool jazz, Jazz