bands/musicians The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History  

Ranker Music
4k votes 533 voters 13.2k views 106 items Embed

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
124 30
Fats Waller is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Fats Waller Stride, Ragtime, Swing music

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2
62 22
Count Basie is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Count Basie Swing music, Big band, Piano blues

3
60 24
Chick Corea is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Chick Corea Kozmigroov, Fusion, Avant-garde jazz

4
65 28
Herbie Hancock is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Herbie Hancock Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Electro

5
114 78
Keith Emerson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Keith Emerson Classic rock, Rock music, Classical music

6
96 67
Jimmy Smith is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Jimmy Smith Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz fusion

7
91 65
Jon Lord is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
HerbertHöpfl added Jon Lord Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

8
69 48
Billy Preston is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Billy Preston Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

9
72 51
Joey DeFrancesco is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Joey DeFrancesco Hard bop, Post-bop, Jazz

10
76 55
Rick Wakeman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
MarySSpiegel added Rick Wakeman Christian music, Pop music, Rock music

11
25 11
Joe Zawinul is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Joe Zawinul Romantic music, World music, Jazz fusion

12
80 60
Ray Manzarek is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
MarySSpiegel added Ray Manzarek Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion

13
31 17
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Ray Charles Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music

14
55 40
Booker T. Jones is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Booker T. Jones Instrumental rock, Electric blues, Rhythm and blues

15
66 53
Steve Winwood is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Steve Winwood Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music

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16
43 34
Rick DePiro is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rick DePiro Rock music, Jazz, Country

17
45 36
Brian Auger is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Brian Auger Jazz fusion

18
33 26
Rod Argent is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rod Argent Pop music, Rock music, Progressive rock

19
40 33
Tony Banks is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Tony Banks Rock music, Classical music, Pop rock

20
47 41
Paul Shaffer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Paul Shaffer Contemporary; Jazz; Blues

21
17 11
Jack McDuff is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
DaveMcCarthy added Jack McDuff Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Rhythm and blues

22
34 29
Gregg Allman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Gregg Allman Rock music, Gospel music, Country

23
24 19
Al Kooper is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Al Kooper Rhythm and blues, Pop rock, Blues

24
23 18
Keith Jarrett is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Keith Jarrett Avant-garde jazz, Classical music, Smooth jazz

25
21 16
John DeFrancesco is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History

26
66 62
Barbara Dennerlein is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History

27
29 25
John Paul Jones is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
John Paul Jones Blues-rock, Instrumental rock, Folk rock

28
27 23
Richard Wright is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
JayWalker1 added Richard Wright Electronic music, Experimental rock, Jazz

29
22 18
Gregg Rolie is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Gregg Rolie Rock and roll, Hard rock

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30
20 16
Jan Hammer is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Jan Hammer Synthpop, Pop music, Jazz fusion

31
20 16
Kerry Minnear is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Kerry Minnear Christian music

32
16 12
Hugh Banton is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Hugh Banton Classical; Soul; Jazz; Blues

33
15 11
Danny Federici is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Danny Federici Rock music, Smooth jazz, Jazz

34
23 20
George Gershwin is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
George Gershwin Opera, Musical theatre, Film score

35
19 16
Tom Coster is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Tom Coster Rock music, Rock en Español, Jazz fusion

36
18 15
Don Airey is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Don Airey Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

37
16 13
Garth Hudson is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
mccotis added Garth Hudson Americana, Pop music, Rock music

38
10 7
Philip Glass is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
AhmedYousef added Philip Glass Opera, Classical music, Contemporary classical music

39
27 25
Ken Hensley is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Ken Hensley Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock

40
22 20
Wild Bill Davis is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Wild Bill Davis Country; Jazz; Blues

41
16 14
Patrick Moraz is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Patrick Moraz Electronic music, Jazz fusion, Progressive rock

42
15 13
John Evan is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
John Evan Rock music, Alternative rock, Progressive rock

43
5 3
Alice Coltrane is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Andujar added Alice Coltrane Kozmigroov, Avant-garde jazz, Jazz

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44
15 14
Tony Kaye is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Tony Kaye Progressive rock

45
15 14
Doug Ingle is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Doug Ingle Acid rock, Instrumental, Psychedelic rock

46
15 14
Rick van der Linden is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Lonerider added Rick van der Linden Rock music, Progressive rock

47
15 14
Vincent Crane is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Vincent Crane Blues-rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

48
14 13
Ranker Video
slaft added John Evans

49
14 13
Steve Walsh is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Steve Walsh Rock music, Progressive rock, Hard rock

50
14 13
Graham Bond is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Graham Bond Blues-rock, Rhythm and blues, Jazz