Jazz The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time  

Ranker Music
3.7k votes 480 voters 9.1k 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
196 42
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
158 32
Charlie Parker is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Jazz, Bebop

3
120 33
Sonny Rollins is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz

4
103 28
Cannonball Adderley is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

5
94 28
Lester Young is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time

6
83 25
Coleman Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Swing music, Bebop

7
94 32
Dexter Gordon is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Swing music, Hard bop, Jazz

8
98 36
Stan Getz is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Cool jazz, Jazz, West Coast jazz

9
99 37
Wayne Shorter is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Crossover jazz, Third stream, Hard bop

10
65 21
Ben Webster is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time

11
69 27
Paul Desmond is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Cool jazz, West Coast jazz

12
67 28
Joe Henderson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Kozmigroov, Hard bop, Jazz fusion

13
71 34
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
59 26
Hank Mobley is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time

15
62 31
Michael Brecker is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
slaft added Rock music, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues

16
46 21
Johnny Hodges is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Ballad, Swing music

17
47 22
Sidney Bechet is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Ragtime, Jazz, Dixieland

18
67 38
Eric Dolphy is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Avant-garde jazz, Third stream, Post-bop

19
47 24
Jackie McLean is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

20
20 3
Art Pepper is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Charley Farley added Cool jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop

21
50 30
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
35 18
Phil Woods is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
looksharp added Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop

23
33 18
Lee Konitz is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Cool jazz, Jazz

24
28 15
Benny Golson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
giorgio-catella added Hard bop, Bebop

25
32 21
Charlie Rouse is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Jazz Saxophonists of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop