Music

The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History  

Ranker Music
4.9k votes 710 voters 15.9k views 106 items

Similar to the harpsichord and piano, but more grand and beautiful, the organ can create a louder, richer sound with a deep bass. The sound that comes out of an organ is often projected through large, steel pipes, especially in a setting that requires the sound to project through an entire room, such as in a symphony hall or large cathedral. The organ is also trickier to master than similar instruments. Who are the greatest organists of all time?

The musicians listed here are known for being the absolute best, and have received a place of prominence in the world of music because of their incredible talent on the organ. This list has been ranked by the community's votes to determine the absolute best organists of all time, living or dead, from all periods of music history.

This list includes top organists like Tori Amos, Steve Winwood, John Paul Jones, and Mike Oldfield. Vote up the best organists in history below or add an organ player you think is great if he or she isn't already on the list.
list ordered by
1
Fats Waller is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Stride, Ragtime, Swing music
2
Jon Lord is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
HerbertHöpfl added Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal
3
Jimmy Smith is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz fusion
4
Herbie Hancock is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Electro
5
Ray Manzarek is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
MarySSpiegel added Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion
6
Rick Wakeman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
MarySSpiegel added Christian music, Pop music, Rock music
7
Count Basie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Swing music, Big band, Piano blues
8
Keith Emerson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Classic rock, Rock music, Classical music
9
Chick Corea is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Kozmigroov, Fusion, Avant-garde jazz
10
Billy Preston is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music
11
Booker T. Jones is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Instrumental rock, Electric blues, Rhythm and blues
12
Joey DeFrancesco is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Hard bop, Post-bop, Jazz
13
Steve Winwood is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music
14
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music
15
Brian Auger is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Jazz fusion
16
Jack McDuff is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
DaveMcCarthy added Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Rhythm and blues
17
Rick DePiro is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rock music, Jazz, Country
18
Tony Banks is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rock music, Classical music, Pop rock
19
Garth Hudson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
mccotis added Americana, Pop music, Rock music
20
Joe Zawinul is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Romantic music, World music, Jazz fusion
21
Al Kooper is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rhythm and blues, Pop rock, Blues
22
Richard Wright is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
JayWalker1 added Electronic music, Experimental rock, Jazz
23
Jan Hammer is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Synthpop, Pop music, Jazz fusion
24
Ken Hensley is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock
25
John Paul Jones is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Blues-rock, Instrumental rock, Folk rock